Area elected officials offered their thoughts on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy:
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th:
“Today we remember the tragic assassination of one this country’s most beloved leaders, President John F. Kennedy. Like most Americans, I have been a longtime admirer of President Kennedy and his extraordinary legacy.
“While it is true that President Kennedy came from a wealthy family, he devoted his life’s work to serving his country. During WWII, despite having a medical condition that exempted him from mandatory service in the military, he voluntarily enlisted into the Navy where he went on to become a decorated war hero. As president, he famously went toe-to-toe with Soviet Premier Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis when many thought that a military strike was the only way to neutralize the nuclear threat in our hemisphere, but President Kennedy managed to achieve this objective without firing a single shot.
“John F. Kennedy wasn’t the kind of man that would back down from a good fight; he was a man of action, a champion of peace, who lived his life with honor and courage and inspired a nation to do the same.
“Whenever I find myself weighed down by the complex issues of the day, such as health care reform, prolonged conflict in the Middle East or a sluggish economy, I find comfort in a quote from one of President Kennedy’s speeches: “Our problems are man-made; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said:
“Like so many of my generation, I remember where I was when I first learned that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. I was in sixth grade at Brinkerhoff School in Mansfield when Principal Sheets came over the PA system to let us know that the president had been shot. One hour later, he informed us — the older students — in person that President Kennedy was dead. I remember the confusion and sadness that so many of us felt. But it reaffirmed that the chance to serve can be fleeting, and that we all can and should work toward social and economic justice each and every day.”