November 18, 2013 2:04 AM

Column | Clarion call to service and citizenship was JFK’s gift to us

Presidential legacies are defining aspects of our American story. The 43 men who have laid claim to the presidency remain fixed as permanent characters animating public memory and shaping our collective consciousness. From the perspective of history, some are treated more kindly than others. And whether fair or not, each bears the burden of comparative judgment — never fully able to escape consideration through the lens of their peers. Ultimately, it falls to us, their living heirs, to wring meaning, pass judgment and learn the lessons of their times as we seek to shape our own. This week in American history we pause to consider the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the legacy of a president who remains one of the nation’s most beloved chief executives.

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