Obama to honor JFK legacy this week
November 16th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama to honor JFK legacy this week

President Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will visit the gravesite of former President John F. Kennedy on Wednesday to honor the 50th anniversary of his assassination, an administration official confirms to CNN.

The Obamas and Clintons will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

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The President will also award Bill Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday. Many previous medal recipients will attend the ceremony, as well, as a sign of respect for Kennedy, the official said.

JFK came up with the current version of the medal in the months before he was killed. He died just weeks before the first group of recipients was honored.

In addition to Clinton, baseball star Ernie Banks, activist Gloria Steinem and media mogul Oprah Winfrey will receive the medal, the highest honor given to a civilian.

On Wednesday night, the President is planning a speech to remember JFK and his legacy during a dinner, the official said. Some Kennedy family members will attend, as well as past Medal of Freedom award winners. It is scheduled to be held at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Filed under: John F. Kennedy • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. One of Our Greatest Presidents

    "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

    "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

    "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."

    "If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity."

    "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."

    "Every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as he would wish to have his children treated."

    "Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain."

    "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind."

    "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

    "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."

    "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

    "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."

    "Let us never negotiate out of fear but let us never fear to negotiate."

    "Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

    "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

    "A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

    "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."

    "A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."

    "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask, why not?"

    -President John F. Kennedy

    November 16, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Thomas

    I was only seven years old , I remember that day.

    November 16, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Elmer Fudd

    November 22, 1963 a truly sad day for our country and I will never forget it.

    November 16, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    I was 20, my 18 month old daughter picked up one of her socks and wiped the tears from my eyes. I will never forget.

    November 16, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. myuntidydesk

    Why on Wednesday? Friday is the anniversary of his death.

    November 16, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. ladies first

    With all do respect we need to reflect on this great country together learn to understand our indiferences the future of our lives and the next generation are looking up to us all to come correct GOD BLESS & I SALUTE THE KENNEDYS!

    November 16, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. Winston Smith

    This was the saddest moment we've had to endure in modern times. What we lost, even today is beyond comprehension. One thing I'm sure of. If he were here today he'd tell us to pull ourselves up by our boot straps, and walk down the road. Life goes on.

    November 17, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Blue Alliance

    President Kennedy's inaugural address should be read by every member of present congress! It is so appropriate in today's world and political environment.

    " A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people".
    John F. Kennedy

    November 17, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. alaskan1st

    While in elementary school, President Kennedy flew into Duluth and us kids all went out to see his motorcade drive by. He stopped and got out of the car and shook the hands of children as he walked down the street.

    November 17, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |