Friday, November 22, 2013

Remembering a Day of Infamy 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago today I was a 13 year old student in class in Rockwell, Iowa, when the terrible news came. The President had been shot and was dead. I remember one boy laughed and I wanted to punch him (only later in life did I learn that some people handle bad news that way.)  The feeling of loss was indescribable. It was a day of infamy. It was our generation's Pearl Harbor. We would not see another like it until 9/11 shook America.

But JFK lives on in my memory as one of the most fascinating, gifted Presidents of our time. It is his idealism and willingness to challenge the American public "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" still rings in my ears.

Since that time what President or member of Congress has said what John F Kennedy said about launching a project to put Americans on the moon: "we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

We are the generation who remember JFK. It is what drives us to make America a better place to live, one that rises to the global challenges and is a beacon of light of justice, freedom and equality for all -- regardless of their race, sex or religion.  JFK was the opposite of a Joe McCarthy or a Tea Party that votes against women, gays and minorities and disrespects anyone different from themselves.

It was with JFK's words still ringing in mind that I filed for U.S. Senate, in hopes of carrying on his ideals of doing things for America that are hard because they are the right choices. Too many politicians tell people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear in order to advance our country to the next level of excellence.

Today, we are a better country because of JFK's 1,000 days.

Tonight, I will open the next chapter of JFK's legacy when I get to meet Democratic Governor candidate Wendy Davis for the first time. It's time our generation carried the JFK ideals onward for the benefit of generations yet to come....

I see those ideals in Wendy Davis and people like Leticia Van de Putte and other political leaders in today's Democrat party which includes people from all walks of life, just as JFK would have wanted. We are continuing his legacy.

Michael Fjetland

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