英語演講2. John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address

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2008-10-16 22:19

英語演講2. John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address

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2. John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President
Nixon, President
Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens:

We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom symbolizing
an end,
as well as a beginning signifying
renewal, as well as change. For I
have sworn before you
and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and threequarters
ago.

The world is very different
now. For man holds in
his mortal hands the power to abolish all
forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet
the same revolutionary beliefs
for which our forebears fought are still at
issue around the globe the
belief that
the rights of
man
come not from the generosity of the state,
but from the hand of God.


We dare not
forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth
from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch
has been passed to a new
generation of Americans born
in this century,
tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and
bitter peace, proud of our ancient
heritage, and
unwilling to witness or permit the slow
undoing of those human rights to which
this nation has always been committed, and to which
we are committed today at
home and around the world.


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.


This much we pledge and more.


To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of
faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided
there is little we can do
for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.


To those new
states whom we welcome to
the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one
form of colonial control shall
not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron
tyranny. We shall not always expect
to find them supporting our view. But we shall always
hope to find them strongly supporting their own
freedom and to remember that, in the
past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.


To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of
mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is
required not
because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes,
but because it is right. If a free society cannot
help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.


To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge: to
convert our good words into good deeds,
in a new alliance for progress, to assist free men and free
governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But
this peaceful revolution of hope cannot
become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know
that we shall join with
them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know
that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the
United Nations, our last best hope in an age
where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our
pledge of support
to prevent
it from becoming merely a forum for invective, to strengthen
its shield of the new and the weak, and to enlarge the area in which
its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but
a request: that both sides begin anew the quest
for peace, before the dark powers of destruction
unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental selfdestruction.


We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt
can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.


But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course both
sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by
the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both
racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror
that stays the hand of mankind's final war.

So let us begin anew
remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and
sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but
let us never fear to
negotiate.


Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which
divide us.

Let both
sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection
and control of arms, and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute
control of all
nations.

Let both sides seek to
invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let
us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease,
tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both
sides unite to heed, in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah to
"undo the heavy burdens, and [to] let the oppressed go free."1And,

if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join
in creating a new endeavor not a new balance of power, but a new world of law where
the strong are just, and the weak secure, and the peace preserved.


All this will not be finished in
the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one
thousand days. nor in the life of this Administration. nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this
planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow
citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our
course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to
give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call
to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again not
as a call to bear arms, though arms we need not
as a call to battle, though embattled we are but
a call to bear the burden of a long twilight
struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope. patient in tribulation,"2 a struggle against
the common
enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and
West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that
historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of
defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility I
welcome it. I do
not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or
any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will
light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that
fire can truly light the world.


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.


Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same
high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only
sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love,
asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must
truly be our own.

1 Isaiah 58:6 (King James Version of the Holy Bible) 2 Romans 12:12 (King James Version of the Holy Bible)


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