Clip from the Past: John F. Kennedy

On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States.  On that Friday, Kennedy delivered his inaugural address in almost fourteen minutes.  From that short address, (the fourth shortest in history), came these famous lines:

Do you believe that Kennedy’s words still resonate today?  Are those words heeded to by most Americans?


22 responses to “Clip from the Past: John F. Kennedy

  1. I think a lot of people lose site and stop paying attention to what they could do for their country and only focus on what America can do for them. People vote based on what the ads tell them they will do. Almost all of the campaign ads I’ve seen are persuasive.

  2. People like to see what they can get from the government for free. I also feel that the government has forgotten about the people allot. I feel that when they get the seat and that pay check they forget about the people that got them there.

  3. I think a lot of people think that the government owes them in some way, and some people take advantage of the things the government gives. For example I have seen people on countless occasions who have iPhones, drive brand new cars and use food stamps. These people can clearly take care of themselves but want to use to the perks the government give, and still complain about how they aren’t getting enough. I think personally nobody deserves a hand out, if you want something you have to work for it, and that’s what I think he is saying.

  4. I believe that all these people that get food stamps and other help from the government and the tax payers should have to be drug tested and should have to volunteer as a way to pay back what they are being given

  5. Yes, I do believe these words still echo on and I believe that both sides are slacking with the only think i can think of doing for my country is fighting in a war which is fitting seeing that this was said during war time. I, as an American, still ask what else can i do for my country? And after being 25 years old I still can’t figure it out. I work two jobs and go to school I pay my taxes I have not fought in a war cause I chose school and work instead I am finding out more with what i want to do with school I’ll still need to fight most likely which I find that to be crazy cause growing up there was supposed to be on or the other not both. I don’t feel ready for what is to come. I just want to continue chasing my goal but with things like these I fear that “the goal” is now unattainable.

  6. I think today no one really thinks about what they can do for there country. People now a days just think how can the government help us out when the government and the people should work together to make a better country. We should even think of how people could repay there government for what it has done for us already.

  7. Yes, Kennedy’s speech still resonates today but no one really follows those words anymore. Some Americas who get help form the government always ask for more, what they get is never enough. Also, most Americans have a negative opinion on the government, or don’t even bother with the government.

  8. Unfortunately, I do not feel that Kennedy’s words resonate today. In today’s society, a majority of individuals only care about themselves and will take any and everything that our nation gives to them. Many people have had multiple things in life handed to them without needing to work hard for it. The view and responsibility of giving back to our nation has diminished. People take and receive, but are not willing to give back. I feel that we all need to work hard in life because then we know what it feels like to be grateful for what we have. Then the understanding of always needing more and more will slowly fade away. Kennedy’s words were wise words and I wish that more people would demand less less from our country and give more, whether it is money, time, or a service opportunity.

  9. I think that JFK made a point that Americans should rely on each other as opposed to the government. If we stick together we will prevail. I don’t think that Americans stick together or rely on each other in modern times. There is a lot less respect in public places than there should be.

  10. I do not think that Kennedys words resonate today as much as they did while he was president. I believe that Americans today are more dependent on the country than ever before due to programs such as welfare, disability, and social security. I also believe that President Kennedys words are heeded to by some Americans (not all) because there are many people in the U.S. who dedicate their lives for the good of the American public while asking for nothing in return.

  11. Nicholas Sumoski

    I don’t think Americans think about that any more. Instead we ask what the government can do for us. Kennedy’s words will always be remembered but his message is ignored. We have lost faith in the government. We think they’re corrupt or act foolishly. We don’t want to help someone who we have no trust in.

  12. I wish people still would take this bit of President Kennedy’s advice, but I feel that many people are losing sight at what makes this country great and are only asking what is best for themselves. Every citizen has a voice in this country, but there are far too many choosing not to use it. There are also a great deal of citizens that take advantage of the various programs used to help those in need. I personally don’t understand how people take so little pride in what they do and simply ask for handouts. I’ve fallen on hard times in the past, and am thankful for government programs but I felt terrible using them and only did so as a last resort, and as soon as I got back on my feet I cancelled them. If more people actually did what President Kennedy suggested, I feel that this country would be in better shape than it is currently, and it’s a shame.

  13. Felicia Guajardo

    I feel like some people do still feel like they try and do whatever they can for their community and their country but at the same time I feel that some still feel like the government owes them something. I feel like the ones who do get help do not really deserve or earn it. Those that do need the assistance have a hard time getting it or they do not get it at all. So yes for some JFK’s words still resonate today. #PCS110Online

  14. Naser Daifallah

    Alot of Americans don’t contribute enough to their country they just feel like the Government owes them something. Some people cheat the system and abuse stuff that other needy people “need”. Some people actually need the support from the government to get back on track but when people abuse it thats when the problems start to occur. If people gave back to our country it would be much more different but no one is making giant strides to make drastic changes.

  15. Madilyn Seyller

    I believe wholeheartedly in this statement. I do think, however, that most Americans have lost sight of this and focus more on themselves: what America can do for them. There are some that honestly do need help from the government to get by in their day-to-day lives, but there are those who take advantage of what the government has to offer. And, overall, I don’t feel a sense of urgency, or a rallying together to make a change in America, to help the U.S. as a whole.

  16. I feel as time passes the lazier Americans get. The lazier they get, the more they depend on the Government. If they start to depend on the Government, they are always going to want more from them. I also feel like the Government does owe Americans more because there still is alot of struggling people out there. I also think Americans dont know what they can do for America. If all the people untied then we can all come to a common ground. Now a days its every man for himself and they only do something if there is something in it for them. I think back then the President words meant more but i think as time passes it wont mean anything, but there are some Americans who take it to heart and try to do good for their country.

  17. Soledad Cervantes

    I believe Kennedy’s word are for the very beyond patriotic citizens that are blind, to me that phrase was used for war. I find it a lie his quote, in the sense as we need the laws that are given here in the United States to protect us from our own law, we cannot really do anything because there are laws we have to oblige by if not we get arrested. As far as does it live today yeah, because each year someone comes up with a law on how they believe it will help out our country face out immigration rather than helping out reducing our debt as a country.

  18. No, I do not agree with what President Kennedy states it his speech because during this time, civil rights and liberties were only given to specific people, not everyone, therefore many believe that the government at least owed them something. Almost 60 years later, the government continues to take from its people; Minorities who had faced extreme hardships because of “Jim Crow Laws” never received an apology or any other sympathies from the government. There is no “what can we do for the government” because the People are limited to only what they are born with, while a lucky few may escape, most are trapped in their circumstances. Many will say that welfare and food stamps shouldn’t be given to others because it makes them lazy, but people fail to realize how much the government has truly taken from us. People are struggling everyday to survive because the poor is too poor and the rich is too rich; the inequality within this country began because the officials elected created it. The foundation that this country was founded upon was the idea that the People should have the power, not the government. We live in a country where the people fear the government instead of the government fearing its people.

  19. These words in the speech do resonate somewhat. And I say that loosely. I think people fail to put attention into the real issues and ways we can make it betterb ourselves, rather than waiting on a politician to make it better. Its lack of effort put into our country bythe people that these words arent heeded anymore by Americans.

  20. No, unfortunately those words to don’t hold any water in today’s society. The speech was given in 1961, before the government enhanced its welfare reform in the 70’s with Jimmy Carter and the evolution of welfare today is ridiculous, people today depend on the government and the the phrase of individual responsibility is non existent in 2014. The amount of money spent on link cards, unemployment, benefits, and city settlements are tragic. Plus in 1961 it was before Vietnam, which destroyed the draft, we will never have another draft. Plus our military is at its minimum personal since before WWII, it would be hard to volunteer nowadays.

  21. I don’t believe Kennedy’s words mean anything today. A lot of things are way different now a days.

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