"Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

This speech was given by Mark Taylor, a teacher from Olathe South High, Olathe, Kansas, at the Grassy Knoll in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 2003.

 

On this exact spot, in this time and this place a great light was extinguished. It was as many have said for one brief and shining moment in the steady march of history a brilliant star that shone forth as a beacon of hope for all of mankind.

But just as a star whose life burned out millennia ago the light from this heavenly raiment continues to illuminate the best of human ambitions, desires, and dreams. For those of you who are younger and were not fortunate enough to have been alive while President Kennedy inspired this nation and the world, one need only view the photographs and watch the films to see how much the people loved this man.

However, it was not just the charm and charisma of John F. Kennedy that drew people to him, but it was the strength of his words which lit the fires of hope in the hearts of men and women around the world.

Indeed those words have survived beyond his mortal being and continue to draw us to his immortal soul. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is now a legend for the ages and just as his life provided us with comfort against the apocalyptic darkness, so too will the resolution of the mystery surrounding his death serve to protect us from the long shadows of crises and conflict.

For a moment let us listen to some of President Kennedy's words so that on the Fortieth anniversary of his death we may use them both as a shield to give us hope for humanity on the one hand and as a sword to give us the courage to smite the bodyguard of lies surrounding his death on the other hand.

Is there an honest man or woman among us that can deny that these selected passages from President Kennedy's aforementioned speeches stand in sharp contrast to events in the world today?

To further dramatize the power of President Kennedy's words, slight modifications can sometimes serve as a weapon to defend historical truth. Here is such an example using President Kennedy's Berlin Wall speech.

In conclusion, I would like to end with a poem by Emily Dickinson. President Kennedy loved poetry and so it is fitting that this memorial speech to his life and to the baffle for truth behind his death should end this way.


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