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President Kennedy Speaks on Veterans Day

Nov. 11, 1961 - President Kennedy made a Veterans Day plea today for peace, but he assured the world that this country was prepared to fight again for freedom. The President placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Ceremony. Coatless and hatless, he stood in an attitude of prayer as a bugler blew taps that echoed across the Potomac Valley. Then, as the solemn military rites continued in the white marble amphitheatre, surrounded by the graves of Americans killed in many wars, the President spoke briefly, but earnestly, “to commemorate the dead and the living.” “In the end,” he said, “the only way to maintain the peace is to be prepared in the final extreme to fight for our country and to mean it. We can convince friend and foe alike that we are in earnest only if we are in earnest. And I can assure the world that we are.”


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