Independent Press-Telegram from Long Beach, California on July 2, 1961 · Page 91
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Independent Press-Telegram from Long Beach, California · Page 91

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 2, 1961
Page 91
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Exclusive to Parade THE MEANING OF LIBERTY by PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY July 4 has traditionally been the day when Americans pay their tribute to liberty. We gather, as our forefathers did, to listen to Fourth of July orations. The old-fashioned eloquence of these speeches testifies to the deep and abiding attachment of the American people to the sentiments of freedom. At the same time, the flow of ceremonial words sometimes obscures the hard problems of personal responsibility involved in the day-to-day fight for liberty. Now that the very idea of personal liberty is under attack in so many parts of the world, the obligation rests on us more urgently than ever to recognize that words are not enough to sustain the revolution of liberty--that liberty resides essentially, not in what we say, but in what we do. What matters is the concrete meaning that our words give our lives. What is the significance of pious gestures if, through acquiescence or through choice, we throw our daily weight against the institutions and ideas which make liberty real? The battle for liberty takes piace, in the end, in the mind and heart of individuals. When we think of liberty in 1961, let us not be content with the stately periods of the Fourth of July orations. Let us not just talk of liberty: let us act for it. Let us translate our devotion into deeds-the rejection of arbitrary limitations on liberty based on race or religion or color; the determination to respect the individuality of others; the conviction that free discussion among freemen affords the best guarantee of human progress. We make the revolution of liberty, not by svhat we exhort others to do, but what we do ourselves. Po.odf Mil. W61

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