“American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times” Photo Exhibit

Ambassador Hans Klemm at the opening of the photo exhibit “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times”
Ambassador Hans Klemm at the opening of the photo exhibit “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times”. Lucian Crusoveanu / Public Diplomacy Office

Madam State Secretary,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear students,

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to join with you this morning.

I want to thank the National Library for agreeing to host this exhibition. I also need to thank the Kennedy Library, Wiener Schiller Productions, Getty Images and others who made this exhibition possible.

What we have here is 77 photographs that try to capture the life and work of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a President who was born 100 years ago.

It is opening here in Bucharest even before it is opening officially tomorrow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

It is really a delight for me to be able to be here this morning because Romania is only one of 30 countries to which this exhibition will travel.

Mr. Director, thank you very much for your remarks and observations of President Kennedy’s work and life.  I was inspired by your references to William Faulkner and to Robert Frost, but also your ability to capture very well not only the life and work of President Kennedy, but also the inspiration he provided to Americans of his age, but also of Americans of today and people around the world.

I think some of the key values of his presidency were bravery, freedom at home and abroad and to work to ensure that all people have equal opportunities to succeed in life.

Many of you probably know that in his inaugural address he made the famous request to the American people: “ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”

Not as well remembered, but he also said the following.  “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

President Kennedy inspired us to expand our scientific horizons and to put a man on the moon; he encouraged us to realize full civil rights for all American citizens; and he inspired us to attempt to confront the forces of tyranny and injustice that were on the rise around the world during his day.  His inspiration lives on today.  And I hope that you are able to discover that inspiration as you observe the exhibit and recall moments of his life and the contributions that he made not only to the United States, not only to America, but the entire world.

Thank you for your attention and your participation.