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JFK Hails Lost Men of the Thresher

Apr. 11, 1963 - President Kennedy today hailed the 129 men (some of whom are pictured below) who perished in the submarine Thresher as new national heroes who carried on the great American tradition of bravery at sea. Extending “deepest sympathy” to their families, Mr. Kennedy issued this personal statement: “I am deeply distressed by the report that the attack submarine Thresher is missing and probably lost. This boat pioneered a new era in the eternal drama of the sea, diving deeper and going faster than any submarine before it. The courage and dedication of these men of the sea, pushing ahead into depths to advance our knowledge and capabilities, is no less than that of their forefathers who led the advance on the frontiers of our civilization. The brave men have joined their comrades, 1,500 of whom were lost in submarines in the fight for freedom in World War II. The future of our country will always be sure when there are men such as these to give their lives to preserve it. Mrs. Kennedy and I extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the men on the Thresher.”


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