The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has released archived audio of John F. Kennedy addressing Legionnaires in 1962 on the White House South Lawn. The former president, who was tragically assassinated a year later, gave remarks after then-American Legion National Commander Charles L. Bacon presented him with the Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Kennedy spoke about American military intervention overseas and lauded the Legion for its service stateside and abroad.
“This is a source of the greatest satisfaction,” Kennedy said. “I can think of no group in the United States who is more entitled to stand in front of the White House and on the lawn than the members of The American Legion.”
Kennedy, who served as the commander of a patrol torpedo boat in the South Pacific during World War II, was honored in a ceremony at the Legion’s second-annual Washington Conference.
Click here to listen to Kennedy’s address.