A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” (John F. Kennedy)
“Citizens of Boston! Consider your blessings; consider your duties. ….. Let New England continue to be an example to the world of the blessings of free government, and of the means and capacity of man to maintain it. ….. (Josiah Quincy)
From a tourist perspective, Boston always presents itself to me as a historically interesting town. There certainly lies authentic proof here of free will served through independence from Great Britain control in the latter years of the 18th century. On past occasions, for instance, we’ve visited iconic downtown landmarks along the Freedom Trail, gazed at the hallowed battlefields of Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord, and relaxed along the colonial “green-space” of Boston Common. We thus found good reason to book a half day, bus excursion on our most recent Atlantic cruise with the hope of re-living this spirit of liberty at John Adams National Historic Park and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library/Museum.
As my primary interest of this tour would thus be historical, I hoped to photograph for my readers a Bostonian showcase of freedom’s reign at these two sites on our scheduled itinerary. Departing from the waterfront in late morning , however, our vehicle slowed frequently amidst heavy commuter traffic. How satisfying it felt then to discover that the lighthearted scripts of our elderly tour guide could be a useful mind diversion from such time delays and unsightly gridlock.
Several of his humorous tidbits, spiced with Bostonian drawl/ culture, come to mind. He first spoke of a past prison incident where inmates rioted because they no longer received an adequate supply of lobster (“lobsta”) at their daily meals. He then noted that angry city drivers never chose to honk their horns at other drivers but would eagerly “flip them off” with a finger. He would further demonstrate his showy talents by boasting a fantasized scenario where every professional team in Boston would respectively win their finals championship this year. As he concluded this amusing narration, we arrived at the small hamlet of Quincy, where our historic adventure would pleasantly begin.
In Quincy, Mass., Presidents John Adams followed by his son John Quincy Adams resided year around in this country homestead now part of Adams National Historical Park. Amazingly intact for almost three centuries, it remains as a living memory of America’s first “Founding Fathers.”
Passed on to four generations of Adams families, the lush landscaped grounds of this estate inspire public interest in environmental preservation. In time, these manicured grounds attained the nickname, “Peace Field.”
John Adams traveled to Europe extensively as an American diplomat in support of American liberty ideals. Interior decorations of this estate include prized mementos collected overseas from friends/allies during this period of his life.
As a patriot, skilled in the professions of law, science, and politics, John Adams filled his time with challenging daily learnings. Yet he also made time for informal gatherings.
Many notable figures in American history line the interior walls As many of them visited the Adams estate over the years, one can imagine the “buzz” of freedom’s diplomacy engaged here.
John Quincy Adams spearheaded the addition of a Stone Annex (the first Presidential Library) at the rear of the Adams estate. The extensive collection of books here remain as a living testament to the intellectual foundations in colonial times of America’s democracy.
The John F. Kennedy Center at Columbia Point, Mass. stands as America’s official memorial to his life and Presidency. Its unique contemporary design overlooking a serene bay inspires visitors to view the Kennedy legacy as one of American innovation/imagination.
Kennedy’s legendary leadership qualities as President are vividly depicted in this museum. Yet in other ways, he might be portrayed as a mere humble man.
Great political leaders inspire high ideals. The writings of John Kennedy displayed a keen awareness of freedom’s call that lies at the heart of our American Democracy.
Free spread of communication in American politics provided a vital link to Kennedy’s election as President. What measures to directly impact voters occurred in Kennedy’s time? Are they as relevant today?
A President must provide a positive role model for our country and the global community in time of crisis. In my brief tour of this museum, John F. Kennedy clearly meets that standard.
How might the Presidency of John Kennedy as depicted in this blog impact your voting decision for the election in 2020?