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November 21, 2013

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words

By The Associated Press

Some notable quotations of John F. Kennedy:

``We stand today on the edge of a new frontier... The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises—it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.’’

- Democratic nomination acceptance, July 15, 1960.

``I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.’’

- Speech to Greater Houston Ministerial Association, Sept. 12, 1960.

``Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

``Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty....

John F. Kennedy, 35th US President

``And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved....

``All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin....

``I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

``And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

``My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.’’

- Inaugural address, Jan. 20 1961.

``I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.’’

- Speech to joint session of Congress, May 25, 1961.

``I do not think it altogether inappropriate to introduce myself to this audience. I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.’’

- Comment in Paris, June 2, 1961.

``I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.’’

- At a dinner honoring Noble Prize winners, April 1962.

``But in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.’’

- Address at American University, June 10, 1963.

``We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated....

``We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes...?

``Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law.’’

- Speech on civil rights, June 11, 1963.

``Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe....

``All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words `Ich bin ein Berliner.’’’

- Address in West Berlin. June 26, 1963.

``I speak to you tonight in a spirit of hope. Eighteen years ago the advent of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world as well as the war. Since that time, all mankind has been struggling to escape from the darkening prospect of mass destruction on earth....

``Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. For the first time, an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international control.’’

- Speech on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, July 26, 1963.

``A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.’’

- Speech at Amherst College honoring poet Robert Frost, Oct. 26, 1963.

This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds

By The Associated Press

This series marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War draws primarily from wartime dispatches credited to The Associated Press or other accounts distributed through the AP and other historical sources.

Editors Note Primary sources for the series are historic newspaper databases and other archival records.

This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Nov. 24: The Battle Above the Clouds.

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Union troops scaled Lookout Mountain southwest of federally held Chattanooga, Tenn., and ousted Confederates dug in with artillery on the heights.

The attack by nearly 12,000 Union soldiers drove the Confederates off the mountaintop overlooking Chattanooga, effectively ending a siege of Union forces holding the city below. Fog covered the Union forces as they went up the 1,700-foot mountainside, aiding their offensive in what later would became known as ``The Battle Above the Clouds.’’

By late in the day on Nov. 24, 1863, Confederates under pressure of the Union offensive abandoned their artillery posts atop the summit and withdrew.

A day later, Union forces would definitively break the Confederate siege lines ringing Chattanooga with another withering offensive, this one aimed at another height called Missionary Ridge.

German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back

By FRANK JORDANS

Associated Press

Berlin (AP) The recluse German collector who kept a priceless trove of art, possibly including works stolen by the Nazis, hidden for half a century says he did so because he ``loved’’ them and that he wants them back.

Cornelius Gurlitt (pictured) told German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published Sunday that he wanted to protect the collection built up by his late father Hildebrand, an art dealer commissioned by the Nazis to sell works that Adolf Hitler’s regime wanted to get rid of. Bavarian authorities say they suspect the elder Gurlitt may have acquired pictures taken from Jews by the Nazis _ and that this may lead to restitution claims by the original owners or their heirs.

In his first extensive interview since the case was revealed two weeks ago, Gurlitt told Der Spiegel that everybody needs something to love. ``And I loved nothing more in life than my pictures,’’ the magazine quoted him as saying. The death of his parents and sister were less painful to him than the loss of the 1,406 paintings, prints and drawings by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse and Max Liebermann that authorities hauled out of his apartment last year.

Der Spiegel said a reporter spent several days interviewing the collector while he traveled from his home in Munich to visit a doctor in a nearby city last week.Officials are investigating whether Gurlitt may have ``misappropriated’’ the pictures or committed tax offenses in connection with them. However, a spokesman for Augsburg prosecutors, who are handling the case, told The Associated Press last week that Germany’s 30-year statute of limitations may prove to be a stumbling block.

Hildebrand Gurlitt died in 1956, and his wife Helene died in 1967. Officials were unaware of their son’s huge collection until a chance customs check three years ago led them to the Munich apartment.

Authorities in Bavaria and Berlin kept the find secret for more than a year and a half. But since the case was revealed by the German magazine Focus two weeks ago they have come under pressure to find a solution that will prevent legal obstacles from standing in the way of rightful claims to the art, particularly if Holocaust survivors or heirs of those persecuted by the Nazis are involved.

Gurlitt told Der Spiegel that he won’t just hand over the art. ``I won’t talk to them, and I’m not giving anything back voluntarily, no, no,’’ he is quoted as saying.

The magazine described Gurlitt as being in ill health because of a heart condition, yet fiercely denying any wrongdoing by himself or his father, whose own Jewish heritage put him in a precarious position when dealing with the Nazis.

The heirs of several Jewish collectors have already come forward to claim some of the 1,406 works that have now come to light, saying the pictures were taken from their relatives by force, or sold under duress.

``It’s possible that my father was once offered something from a private collection,’’ Gurlitt told Der Spiegel. ``But he would definitely not have taken it.’’

Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

By VANESSA McCRAY

The (Toledo) Blade

Toledo, OH (AP) Army bugler Keith Clark waited for hours on that cold day in 1963 to play one last time for the president—his president.

This somber duty, the sounding of taps at military ceremonies and funerals, was a familiar responsibility for the principal trumpet player in the U.S. Army Band.

Just two weeks before, Sgt. Clark played at Arlington National Cemetery during a Veterans Day ceremony. That day , which to a grieving nation must have felt as if it belonged to a different, distant past, he stood near John F. Kennedy as the president stared straight ahead, shoulders squared, feet precisely placed.

On Nov. 25, 1963, the bugler returned to Arlington, awaiting President Kennedy’s funeral procession. His assassination three days earlier shocked a nation, which was still in disbelief.

After deafening volleys of rifle fire, the camera and the eyes of the country turned to Sgt. Clark, tasked with summing up the mournful occasion with a melody played not just for a nation but a widow.

He pointed the bell of his bugle to Jacqueline Kennedy and began. On the sixth note of taps—a catch, a warble, one slight crack.

Sgt. Keith Clark, at JFK’s funeral

The missed note would reverberate through history, encapsulating a nation’s pain.

``Most Americans have the sense that he didn’t do it on purpose,’’ said Sgt. Clark’s oldest daughter Nancy McColley, 64, who watched the funeral procession and her father on a television set in the family’s Arlington, Va., recreation room. ``But it seemed to fit the feeling and the dynamic of the day. We were heartbroken as a nation.’’

Sitting in another house several states away, fifth-grader Ed Hunter watched on a black-and-white TV in Plymouth, Ohio.

Like so many children, Hunter, now 60 and living just outside Toledo in Sylvania Township, learned about the president’s death at school. His principal came to the door and broke the news to his teacher. The class clustered around a transistor radio.

School was canceled the day of the funeral. Watching at home, young Eddie Hunter, who had a month before started trumpet lessons and playing in the school band, paid close attention to the historic ceremony at Arlington.

``The playing of taps was kind of interesting to me ... on the sixth note he didn’t quite hit it cleanly,’’ Hunter recalled. ``He sort of cracked a little bit and, being a budding trumpet player, I thought, `Oh, my gosh, he must feel awful.’ “

He wanted to console his fellow musician and took to his sister’s typewriter to punch out a letter addressed simply to the bugler at the president’s funeral in Washington.

``Anybody is bound to make a tiny mistake in front of millions opon millions of people. At first I did not notice it, at first untile they reran the picture. YOU SHOULD HERE SOME OF THE THINGS I PLAY,’’ wrote little Eddie.

Back in Arlington, Sgt. Clark received numerous letters, all positive, about his rendition of taps. The imperfect note touched listeners. Letter writers told him he expressed the sorrow of a nation, and urged him not to feel badly about the mistake.

``He was a man of great faith, so I think any personal feelings he may have had about the incident, he took those feelings to God and left them there. I don’t think he spent a lot of time worrying about it. Essentially his country called, and he answered the call,’’ said McColley, whose father died in 2002. ``He did his best. .; that’s all that any country requires of its citizens.’’

One particular letter provided Sgt. Clark some cheer. A short note, poorly spelled in spots, from a young Ohio boy.

``My mom said he got quite a chuckle out of that. (It) added a little bit of levity to a really uncomfortable position he was in. It lightened the mood,’’ McColley said.

She now has the original copy of Eddie’s letter. Like the others, it will be passed down to future generations.

``When you are growing up and your dad makes a mistake on national TV, that is not your shining moment,’’ she said. ``We realize now that dad has this very special place in history.’’

Hunter hadn’t thought much about the letter he wrote 50 years ago, though he kept photographs and a handwritten reply from Sgt. Clark, who hoped the boy was ``practicing hard on your trumpet.’’ The young player wrote the bugler once more and reported he was trying ``to be a fine musician like you.’’

Taps historian Jari Villanueva, a Baltimore bugler who retired from the Air Force Band, discovered the letters between the bugler and the boy while doing research.

He corresponded with Sgt. Clark before his death, and knew he had received letters after the president’s funeral. Recently, Villanueva spent time with his family in Port Charlotte, Fla., where McColley lives, and saw some of those letters.

The child’s note struck Villanueva, who tracked down Hunter using Internet search tools.

Hunter played the trumpet through high school and his first year of college at Eastern Kentucky University. As a child he wrote letters to other notables, including astronauts. He’s still moved by the story that has reverberated 50 years later.

``This is not about a guy making a mistake. I mean, he did an otherwise flawless job,’’ Hunter said. ``He served his country well, and I think that’s what the ceremony, you know, is ... the fact that he did what he did, and it touched so many people in so many ways.’’

Sgt. Clark was asked again and again to explain that one lapse amid a lifetime of perfectly played notes. The day’s brisk temperatures froze his lips, and the strict requirements to stand at attention didn’t afford him time to warm up, his daughter said.

Add to that the enormous pressure of the occasion, the meddling of television crews catering to the at-home audience, and the recent roar from nearby rifles which made it difficult to hear.

``He was under this perfectly understandable amount of strain,’’ said Villanueva, who likens the broken note to the crack in the Liberty Bell.

When Sgt. Clark learned of the president’s assassination, he immediately got a haircut _ anticipating he could be asked to play during the ceremony. He found out early the morning of the funeral that he would indeed sound taps as a nation watched and mourned.

``He taught us to be very patriotic, so this was his president just like it was everybody else’s. It wasn’t just a duty. He lost a president that day like everyone else did,’’ McColley said.


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