JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY, INAUGURAL address (20 JANUARY 1961)

<1> Vice president Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chef Justice, chairman Eisenhower, Vice chairman Nixon, chairman Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens:

<2> us observe now not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–signifying renewal and also change. Because that I have actually sworn prior to you and also Almighty God the exact same solemn oath our forbears prescribed virtually a century and also three-quarters ago.

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<3> The human being is very different now. For guy holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all develops of human poverty and also all creates of human life. And yet the exact same revolutionary beliefs for which ours forebears fought are still in ~ issue approximately the globe–the belief that the rights of guy come not from the sacrament of the state however from the hand of God.

<4> we dare not forget this particular day that we space the heirs the that an initial revolution. Let words go soon from this time and place, to friend and also foe alike, that the torch has been passed come a brand-new generation that Americans–born in this century, tempered through war, disciplined by a hard and also bitter peace, proud the our old heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow-moving undoing of those human being rights to which this nation has constantly been committed, and to which we are committed now at home and also around the world.

<5> permit every nation know, whether it wishes united state well or ill, that us shall pay any kind of price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any type of friend, oppose any foe to guarantee the survival and also the success that liberty.

<6> This lot we pledge–and more.

<7> come those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, us pledge the commitment of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot carry out in a organize of cooperative ventures. Split there is little we have the right to do–for we challenge not accomplish a powerful difficulty at odds and split asunder.

<8> to those new states whom we welcome come the ranking of the free, us pledge ours word that one type of early american control chandelier not have actually passed away just to be replaced by a far an ext iron tyranny. Us shall not always expect to discover them supporting our view. However we shall always hope to uncover them strongly supporting their very own freedom–and come remember that, in the past, those that foolishly sought power by speak the ago of the tiger ended up inside.

<9> come those civilization in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the binding of massive misery, us pledge our finest efforts to assist them aid themselves, for whatever period is required–not since the communists might be act it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a cost-free society cannot help the plenty of who are poor, that cannot save the few who space rich.

<10> come our sister republics south of our border, we sell a one-of-a-kind pledge–to transform our good words into good deeds–in a new alliance because that progress–to assist complimentary men and totally free governments in spreading off the chain of poverty. Yet this peaceful revolution of expect cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors understand that us shall sign up with with lock to oppose aggression or subversion all over in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

<11> come that people assembly of can be fried states, the joined Nations, ours last ideal hope in an er where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support–to stop it from ending up being merely a forum for invective–to strengthen its shield that the new and the weak–and come enlarge the area in which its writ might run.

<12> Finally, come those nations who would make us our adversary, we sell not a pledge yet a request: the both sides start anew the search for peace, prior to the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humankind in to plan or accidental self-destruction.

<13> us dare not tempt them with weakness. For only as soon as our arms space sufficient beyond doubt can we be specific beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

<14> however neither can two great and an effective groups of countries take comfort from our existing course–both sides overburdened through the price of modern-day weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both gyeongju to change that unsure balance the terror that remains the hand the mankind’s final war.

<15> for this reason let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is no a sign of weakness, and sincerity is constantly subject come proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let united state never are afraid to negotiate.

<16> allow both sides check out what troubles unite us rather of belaboring those difficulties which division us.

<17> allow both sides, because that the very first time, formulate severe and an exact proposals for the inspection and control of arms–and bring the absolute power to ruin other countries under the absolute regulate of every nations.

<18> permit both sides look for to invoke the marvels of science instead of that terrors. With each other let us explore the stars, dominate the deserts, eradicate disease, insanity the s depths and encourage the arts and also commerce.

<19> let both sides unite to heed in all corners that the planet the command that Isaiah–to “undo the hefty burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed walk free.”

<20> and also if a beachhead of cooperation may push earlier the jungle of suspicion, allow both sides join in creating a brand-new endeavor, no a brand-new balance the power, but a brand-new world of law, whereby the strong are just and also the weak secure and the tranquility preserved.

<21> every this will certainly not be perfect in the an initial one hundred days. Nor will certainly it be finished in the an initial one thousand days, no one in the life that this Administration, nor even perhaps in our life time on this planet. However let us begin.

<22> In her hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will remainder the final success or failure of ours course. Due to the fact that this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony come its nationwide loyalty. The graves of young Americans that answered the speak to to business surround the globe.

<23> now the trumpet summons us again–not together a speak to to bear arms, though arms us need–not as a speak to to battle, despite embattled we are–but a speak to to be affected by each other the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”–a struggle against the usual enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, an illness and war itself.

<24> have the right to we forge against these adversaries a cool and worldwide alliance, North and South, East and also West, that deserve to assure a an ext fruitful life for every mankind? will certainly you sign up with in that historic effort?

<25> In the long history of the world, just a few generations have been granted the function of defending flexibility in the hour of maximum danger. I execute not shrink indigenous this responsibility–I welcome it. I carry out not believe that any type of of united state would exchange locations with any type of other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we lug to this undertaking will irradiate our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly irradiate the world.

<26> and so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can carry out for you–ask what you can do for her country.

<27> My fellow citizens the the world: ask no what America will carry out for you, yet what together we deserve to do for the freedom of man.

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<28> Finally, even if it is you space citizens that America or citizens of the world, asking of us right here the same high requirements of strength and sacrifice which us ask that you. V a great conscience our just sure reward, with background the last judge of ours deeds, let united state go forth to lead the land us love, questioning His blessing and His help, but knowing that right here on planet God’s work must truly be our own.