Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963:
"Fifty years ago today, while working as an intern to Maryland Senator David Brewster, I was coming down the steps of the U.S. Capitol when I was stopped by an officer of the U.S. Capitol Police who said: ‘Have you heard? The President’s been shot.’ I will never forget that moment – as I know so many Americans will always remember where they were on the day President John F. Kennedy was taken from us.
“A courageous war hero who became a champion of peaceful engagement with the nations of the world, President Kennedy oversaw the passing of the torch from the generation of the New Deal to the generation of Civil Rights and the New Frontier. With his eloquent words and his resolute actions, he presided over a period in our history remembered for its energy, creativity, and expanded horizons. President Kennedy preserved the peace of our country and the world with his steadfastness in the face of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he called us to reach beyond the boundaries of our imagination by going to the moon. After three years of John F. Kennedy’s leadership, America was forever changed.
“As we reflect on President Kennedy’s legacy, I am reminded of the lesson he was set to impart that day in Dallas, though he never had the chance. In the remarks he had prepared for that afternoon, he wrote: ‘We ask …that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on Earth, good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength.’
“President Kennedy was my hero – a leader who inspired me and so many others in my generation and generations since to give back to our country and the world through public service. As we mark this anniversary of the day President Kennedy’s life was cut short, let us remember him not for the tragic circumstances of his death but for the incredible example by which he lived and served.”