The Dream That Will Not Die: Inspiring Words of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy

The Dream That Will Not Die: Inspiring Words of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy

by Brian M. Thomsen

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"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."—John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Inauguration Address, January 20, 1961

"Some men see things as they were and say 'why?' I see things that never were, and ask 'why not?"—Robert Francis Kennedy, Campaign Speech,

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"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."—John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Inauguration Address, January 20, 1961

"Some men see things as they were and say 'why?' I see things that never were, and ask 'why not?"—Robert Francis Kennedy, Campaign Speech, University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."—Senator Edward Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, New York City, August, 1980

The words of three powerful brothers—men united not just by family ties but by a tradition of inspiring service that continues today with their children and grandchildren. Words which have united a nation, inspired generations to take up the very best and most honorable of causes, and pushed individuals to do and be and give their best.

So often, these Kennedys—John, Robert, and Edward—found the right words to say, to the United States and to the world. John F. Kennedy, the charismatic President with a strong commitment to justice and human rights. Robert F. Kennedy, Senator, Attorney General, and presidential candidate, who carried the family standard after Jack's assassination and broke new ground in civil rights prior to his own tragic murder. Edward M. Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, whose passion created some of the most far-reaching legislation of the last five decades.

The Dream That Will Not Die collects some of the most striking speeches and quotes by the Kennedys, showing that even when the going was tough, these brothers found the right way to make their thoughts and feelings clear, showing their charm, humor, and determination. Here you will find your own inspiration, in the words of three men who believed that all Americans deserved the same privileges the Kennedys were born to, privileges they never took for granted.

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AN AMERICAN DYNASTY The Legacy of Joseph and Rosemary Kennedy"What are you going to do with your life? Kennedys don’t just sit around. They do something."
Joseph Kennedy, question to each of his children When three brothers all reach positions of influence and prominence in public life, it is only natural to consider the combined in.uence of heredity and upbringing. In the case of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, these in.uences can be clearly traced to a strong and in.uential parental team. Joseph and Rosemary Kennedy, in separate ways, had a powerful, obvious, and profound impact on their children’s lives.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1888–1969) was the grandson of an Irish immigrant and the son of a state legislator. Because his father had fought his way out of poverty to a position of some prominence, Joe was able to attend a good prep school (Boston Latin School) and won entrance to Harvard, from which he graduated in 1912.
Meanwhile, Rose Fitzgerald (1890–1995) was the eldest daughter of a prominent Boston politician, John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, who served a term in Congress and was twice mayor of Boston. Like her future husband she, too, was a second generation descendent of Irish immigrants who had come to the United States during the years of the potato famine.
After a long, per sis tent courtship, Joe overcame Honey Fitz’s misgivings— Rose’s father wasn’t entirely certain that the son of a small-time politician was good enough for the daughter of Boston’s most prominent Catholic family— and the pair married in 1914. Their .rst child, Joseph, or Joe Jr., was born in 1915, and by the time Edward, or Teddy, was born in 1932, he was the last of nine children— four sons and .ve daughters.
The Children of Joseph and Rosemary Kennedy
Joseph Jr. (b. 1915) John (b. 1917) Rosemary (b. 1918) Kathleen (b. 1920) Eunice (b. 1921) Robert (b. 1925) Jean (b. 1928) Edward (b. 1932)
Both parents set strong examples for their chil­dren, and both were determined to escape the “second- class citizen” status reserved for Catholics in predominantly Protestant New En gland.
Joe was particularly driven to succeed in business, becoming a bank president by the time he was years old. By thirty, he was a millionaire, involved with shipbuilding, moviemaking, and the Demo cratic Party. By 1929 he was wealthy enough to establish million- dollar trusts for each of his children and as­tute enough to avoid losing his shirt in the stock­market crash and subsequent depression. President Franklin Delano Roo sevelt appointed him to be the .rst chairman of the Securities and Exchange Com­mission in 1934. In 1937 Joe Kennedy became the .rst Irish American to serve as the United States ambassa­dor to Great Britain.
At home, the Kennedy’s raised their children to be inquisitive, voracious readers and extremely competi­tive. The bar for achievement was set very high. Yet both parents also loved their children uncondition­ally. From Rose, the children learned the importance of compassion and empathy, while Joe made sure that each also was ready to work hard and strive for dis­tinction in public life. Their family home, at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, would serve as a refuge, a place of calm and serenity, throughout the family members’ lives.
From birth, Joe and Rose’s eldest son, Joe Jr., was groomed for the role of president of the United States, since both parents shared this vision of their son’s destiny. His death while .ying a volunteer com­bat mission during World War II was the .rst example of what would eventually be called the Kennedy tragedy, and it shifted the burden of expectations to his younger brothers’ shoulders.
Joe suffered a stroke in 1961 and was an invalid until he died in 1969. Rose would live to the age of 104, though during the last de cade of her life she was con.ned to a wheelchair. Her generous philanthropy continued late into her life, and at age 90 she led the grandparents’ parade in the Special Olympics. She is reputedly the longest- lived presidential relative in US history. “Don’t hesitate to interrupt me, whether I am at a meeting, in conference, or visiting with friends, if you wish to consult me about my children.”
Joseph Kennedy, instruction to his children’s nurse, Alice
Cahill Bastianq

“A mother knows that hers is the in.uence which can make that little precious being to be a leader of men, an inspiration, a shining light in the world.”
Rose Kennedy

“He has called on the best that was in us. There was no such thing as half-trying. Whether it was running a race or catching a football, competing in school—we were to try. And we were to try harder than anyone else.”
From the eulogy for Joseph Kennedy, written by Bobby
in 1967, delivered by Teddy in 1969 Excerpted From The Dream That Will Not Die.
Copyright © 2010 by Bill Fawcett & Associates.
Published in May 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction
is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or
medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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