Posted by: SJS | May 2, 2017

JFK at 100

On May 29th we will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts.

While he was a son of privilege and wealth, his WWII service as the Skipper of a PT Boat in the South Pacific transformed him.  He emerged from the war after experiencing  close combat, shipwreck, and the loss of  sailors under his command.  His valiant efforts to rescue his shipwrecked crew on an obscure Pacific island came close to taking his life.  It was his time in the Navy that ultimately equipped him for rigors of the presidency to which he was elected in November of 1960.

In leading the nation, and the free world, through the treacherous days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, I have no doubt that Kennedy’s stamina, courage, and brinkmanship all had their roots in the traumatic episode he endured when PT 109 was sliced in two by a Japanese warship in the summer of 1943.  Having survived that encounter, Kennedy could call on his sharp instincts and a vast reservoir of personal fortitude to guide our nation through some of the darkest days of our history.

For me, JFK will always be the PT Boat President.  Through the service of my father, I will always feel a special bond with this man who continues to inspire hope, boldness, and a flair for life that is unique in public life.  The exhilaration I felt as a nine year old boy when he ran for president in 1960 has never really subsided–and I’m sure that it never will.


  1. Great tribute to a great human being. He wasn’t perfect but who is. I hope that what he did as president can guide others…

  2. I agree. He was far from perfect but his traumatic experience in war gave him insight and experience that served humanity very well. Merci beaucoup.

  3. I couldn’t agree more mate. Please feel free to ignore this but you may appreciate my rambling review of Jackie here
    But feel free to disregard.

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