U.S. Senator Mark Begich issued the following statement today marking 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963:
"As Americans across our nation remember President Kennedy today, I believe his greatest legacy was his call to public service. A half century later, many Americans can cite President Kennedy's bold challenge to contribute to the nation which he issued in his inaugural address in January 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.'
"Then Senator Kennedy previewed that appeal during two trips he made to Alaska. In November 1958, he visited Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks to campaign for Alaska's candidates for governor and Congress. He returned as a candidate for president just two months before the 1960 election, speaking in Anchorage and at the Palmer Fairgrounds.
"In Anchorage on Sept. 3, 1960, Senator Kennedy saluted Alaska's pioneering spirit which he said can serve as a model for the nation. He told the gathered Alaskans: "When I talked about the new frontier, I was not talking about the geography of this country or about Alaska as a new area of the world. I was talking about the spirit which has built this state, the kind of spirit which I think has built our country, the kind of spirit which can build our country again.'
"President Kennedy's call to service inspired thousands of Americans to work in public service for our country. In this era of bitterly divisive public debate, I hope others will answer President Kennedy's appeal to work together for the benefit of our communities, states and nation."