BY JOSH MERLO
Fifty years ago on Nov. 22, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. Charismatic and charming, a PT boat commander, a Democratic Catholic and the leader of the free world during some of the most trying moments of the Cold War, Kennedy is, unfortunately, not usually remembered for his many accomplishments. Rather, JFK – as he is popularly referred to – has a negative stigma associated with his name. Whether criticized for his marital infidelities, his religious orientation, or the few major mistakes of his presidency, Kennedy is not given the credit – or respect – that is his due.
So, as America solemnly looks back at the day that marked the extinguishing of one of the brightest lights of the 20th century, I ask you to do the same. Remember JFK; remember the man who wrought so many works that have distinguished America long after his death.
Three things bear highlighting from the short-but-storied presidency of Kennedy: the Cuban missile crisis, the Apollo program and the beginnings of the civil rights movement. The first forestalled what could have led to the violent, bloody conclusion of the Cold War. The second lifted science from its terrestrial limits. The final continued the work of Eisenhower (and ultimately Lincoln), corralling an ugly sentiment of racism and bigotry with federal strength.