Peace need not be impractical and war need not be inevitable

How many people started to have a problem with authority 60 years ago, on November 22, 1963?

While many may focus today on how the official narrative of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s murder cannot be so, and how thousands of JFK assassination records remain classified—both valid concerns—please also take a moment also to consider his great Peace Speech, given on June 10, 1963 at the American University in Washington D.C.

One powerful moment for me is when the 35th President answers his opening question about What kind of peace do we seek?, with this:

I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will, of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams, but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal. Let us focus instead on a more practical or attainable peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single simple key to this peace. No grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation, for peace is a process, a way of solving problems. With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace like community peace does not require that each man love his neighbor, it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us, that enmity between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events, will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. So let us persevere. Peace need not be impractical. And war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.

The last paragraph of the White House press release this morning from “Biden” expressed this:

On this day, we remember that he saw a nation of light, not darkness; of honor, not grievance; a place where we are unwilling to postpone the work that he began and that we all must now carry forward. We remember the unfulfilled promise of his presidency – not only as a tragedy, but as an enduring call to action to each do all we can for our country.

In the plan that daily unfolds (as indicated by 50 USC 33 §1550), and of which we are all a part, as living men and women, I wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving, for there is surely much to be thankful for, as the work continued and begun by the likes of John F. Kennedy, the efforts of those around him, before and since, all across this small planet where we breathe the same air and cherish our children, may yet bring us to the kind of peace he spoke about only—and yet already—60 years ago. Let us remember we are a young nation, with the 250-year celebration not far in the future, representing only 12 or 13 generations of Americans. What will future generations say of what we did today?