Editor’s Note: The following editorial was published in The Youngstown Vindicator on Nov, 24, 1963, two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Government lives on
Certain ideas, and ideals, as they apply to the hopes and longing of a free people have always been clear in the minds of patriotic Americans. Today, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, this message is of significance:
“The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness...”
The first President of the United States offered this warning and counsel to his countrymen in his farewell address Sept. 19, 1796. Now, in 1963, in these days of sorrow and despair, George Washington’s words mean just as much — more, perhaps — than they ever did.
The American system of government faces a harrowing test but there can be every confidence in the minds and the hearts of the American people that the principles upon which this nation was established will be sustained.
There has been a death in the official family but life must go on and it will — under the guiding hand of a new President, Lyndon B. Johnson. We can thank providence that through our normal election processes we have made it possible for a man highly worthy of the responsibility to pick up the burdens which fell from the hands of his predecessor.
There is a responsibility as great, if not greater, on President Johnson’s countrymen. In this hour we must put aside the small, petty things. Individuals, parties, factions, the races and regions must draw more closely together. Discord must be forgotten. There must be understanding for the new man in the White House.
President Johnson is truly devoted to this country. The tasks which President Kennedy had undertaken will not be left unfinished. The former vice-president is a political leader of experience and the goals for which he will strive are those for which President Kennedy fought. Americans undoubtedly may differ with his policies as they differed with those of Mr. Kennedy, but they will never be able to belittle his dedication to national welfare.
President Johnson is an able man. He has the respect of his countrymen. He is preparing to walk a path which sometimes can be terribly lonely. The President is dead but the government lives on.