Markey Statement on 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy Assassination

Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742

Washington (November 22, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) released the following statement recognizing the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. 

"When I was a teenager, President John F. Kennedy was transforming our country. His brothers Bobby and Teddy were working right beside him. As a young man who was raised in an Irish Catholic home in Malden, Massachusetts, I saw the Kennedys as the embodiment of the ideals of public service.

"Conventional wisdom during the 1960 presidential election was that an IrishCatholic politician from Massachusetts couldn't be elected, that John F. Kennedy couldn't win. But in his victory, he tore down that barrier and helped lift our gaze to the constellation of possibilities, including the belief we must have equality for all. It was a message to all minority groups in America that they too could make important contributions in civic life and participate in the noble calling of public service.

"From the Civil Rights movement, to the space race, to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the signing of the Equal Pay Act - President Kennedy's legacy continues to resonate in importance and urgency. His challenge to land a man on the Moon led to the discovery of new technologies and spurred historic funding in science and research. While the Peace Corps has sent more than 200,000 Americans to spread goodwill to more than 135 nations throughout the world.

"I was just a 17yearold boy attending a rally at my high school, Malden Catholic, when I heard the news President Kennedy had been shot. Like so many of us in Massachusetts, I remember that day clearly. The rally was at 2 p.m., before our big game of the year against St. John's Prep. Students were outside when we were told President Kennedy, our hero, had been assassinated and that we should say a prayer. The rally ended and from that day forward, history was altered in the most profound way.

"President Kennedy will always represent a bold vision for our nation's future, an idealism without illusion, a commitment to public service and a youthful vigor and irrepressible energy that signals to the rest of the world that we Americans believe that even better days for our country are always ahead of us. As a Senator from Massachusetts, I strive for these ideals every day. Every day serve in Congress I carry his words at his inaugural address with me: to go forth to lead the land we love knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own. I am honored and humbled to be a Senator for Massachusetts, the state that produced President Kennedy and his incredible family of public service heroes."