Monday, February 20, 2012

Speech! Speech!


Post by Jenny

We’re still 8+ months away from election day, but my ears are already tired of campaign-speak. Seeing as how things will probably get worse before they get better, I thought I’d use this President’s Day as a reminder of how eloquent and inspirational a president (often with the help of unsung speech writers) can be.

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

“The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.” George Washington, Farewell Address

“And so I say to all of you here and to all in the nation tonight that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future. This great rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all--all, black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are our enemies, not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too--poverty, disease and ignorance--we shall overcome.” Lyndon B. Johnson, We Shall Overcome

“…We must face the truth, and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.” Jimmy Carter, A Crisis of Confidence

Do you have a favorite presidential speech?

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

I always remember JFK's 1961 inaugural address where he said:

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

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