The readiness of the defense establishment, referred to as DEFCON, for ‘defense condition’ has a numbering system (1-5) that indicates the severity of the situation. DEFCON 5 is the least severe condition. President Kennedy delivered his Cuban Missile Crisis speech via televised address on October 22nd, 1962. During the speech, US military forces were put on DEFCON 3.
Kennedy ended his solemn speech: My fellow citizens, let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out. No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred. Many months of sacrifice and self-discipline lie ahead — months in which both our patience and our will will be tested, months in which many threats and denunciations will keep us aware of our dangers. But the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.
The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are; but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.
Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right; not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved. (This resolve and show of strength, that listed consequences should Russia proceed, this leadership, kept us safe. What a difference a President makes!) Here is the link for the speech. https://genius.com/John-f-kennedy-cuban-missile-crisis-speech-annotated
Stepheny, how in the world do you connect the Missile Crisis with Rocky Mount NC? I read another book! The title is Mrs. Kennedy and Me. Clint Hill was on Mrs. Kennedy’s secret service detail and it is through his eyes during that period, that included the Cuban Crisis, Mrs. Kennedy is chronicled. Though I was never particularly enamored with ‘Jackie,’except for her iconic wardrobe, Clint Hill’s devotion to her safety and happiness has left me with a redeemed portrait of her, which I will not soon forget.
Mrs. Kennedy, during the Missile Crisis answered, when told she and the children would be taken into the bomb shelter at the White House: “If the situation develops, I will take Caroline and John, and we will walk hand in hand out onto the south grounds. We will stand there like brave soldiers, and face the fate of every American.
The final outcome of President’s strong message: Khrushchev dismantled the missiles in Cuba, the Russian ships carrying nuclear materials, turned around.
THE CONNECTION – Animosity towards Councilman, Andre Knight, who continues to be disruptive, ungentlemanly, snarly, and wants a raise, have reached DEFCOM 3 judging by the uproar of disapproval after his disrespect for retiring Councilman Bullock etc. The additional problem is, Mr. Knight doesn’t care what we think of him, there is no shaming him into proper behavior. You get a ‘bless you’ that stands for, well, you know, the F word. (As I write this, America is seen now as weak and ingenuous. America’s reputation is suffering and because of Mr. Knight, so is the reputation of the City of Rocky Mount.
What if we do nothing? Things are never going to get better until Mr. Knight is removed from the council. It’s up to you and me. Enough of the endless talk about how bad Mr. Knight is for the City. Clint Hill’s book reminds people of President Kennedy’s style of leadership, his courage and love of country, which is needed now more than ever as things stand. Here in Rocky Mount, NC, enough wringing of hands. Join me……..
Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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