If you thought while listening to the then young Senator from Illinois that his soaring belief in the possible reminded you of John F Kennedy, you are not alone. The JFK Library agrees.
The John F Kennedy Library foundation awarded President Barack Obama its “Profile in Courage” award Thursday, saying “He picked up the torch from President Kennedy” and citing Obama’s profound “grace under pressure.”
Indeed, they say, “President Obama’s entire public life has exemplified the courage that John F. Kennedy celebrated.”
“From his inspirational 2008 campaign until his final weeks in office, Barack H. Obama consistently reflected in so many ways, big and small, the definition of courage that John F. Kennedy cited in the opening lines of Profiles in Courage: ‘Grace under pressure,'” the foundation explained in a statement.
Former President Barack Obama wrote he was “humbled to be recognized by a family with a legacy of service.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 2, 2017
The Profile in Courage award relates to JFK’s quote, “To all who respond to the Scriptural call: ‘Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.’
For courage–not complacency–is our need today–leadership–not salesmanship. And the only valid test of leadership is the ability to lead, and lead vigorously.”
Never has the phrase “leadership–not salesmanship” been more appropriate.
— JFK Library (@JFKLibrary) March 2, 2017
“He picked up the torch from President Kennedy and has now passed it on to a new generation of Americans, inspiring young people across the country to enter public service, affirming our belief in an America that is more than a collection of Red states and Blue states, and reminding all of us that no matter what we look like, where we come from, or what faith we practice, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper,” the JFK Library foundation wrote.
“Throughout his two terms in office, President Obama upheld the highest standards of dignity, decency and integrity, serving not just as a political leader, but a moral leader, offering hope and healing to the country and providing young men and women of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.”
“President Obama’s entire public life has exemplified the courage that John F. Kennedy celebrated.”
President Obama will accept this prestigious award in May of this year. The nation already misses the scandal-free presidency of Obama, the deep integrity with which he conducted himself, his continuous ability to rise above the horrific things said to and about him and his family, and most of all, his service and commitment to making the lives of the American people better.
Republicans mocked Obama’s hope, but without hope there is no change. Hope is the foundation of courage and a buttress of change.
President Obama’s courage is a light that will help to shine our way out of this present darkness, because as he has always said, “Change in America doesn’t start from the top down. It starts from the bottom up.” That’s the people. Change starts with the people.
Like President Kennedy, President Obama inspires people to get involved, to fight for change.
Image: screengrab from JFK Library twitter video