To the editor:
American presidents both past and present have been mentioned in recent letters to the editor in support or opposition to some reader’s points of view. All presidents’ actions become part of the history of the U.S. for whatever their actions, judged by history to be right or wrong.
J.F. Kennedy’s name was referenced with respect to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 as an example of a strong president; Mr. Kennedy received a lot of media coverage then and now, for his actions and statements, and sadly his assassination in 1963.
Notably, he was widely quoted for his statement made in his inaugural speech which stated “And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” This is generally accepted as an original and inspiring statement. I wonder, however, if Kennedy was aware of a similar comment made by Marcus Tulluis Cicero, better known in history as Cicero the great Roman statesman (106 BC – 43 BC).
Also known as a great orator, it is recorded that in an address to Roman politicians Cicero implored them to: “ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country.”
Perhaps as the old adage goes, “the more things change the more they remain the same.”
Bill Boyd, Kelowna
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