- Apr 4, 2017
Workers bring down the statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans on Friday, May 19, 2017
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has won the 2018 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his work in removing four Confederate monuments from public property, the national organization announced Tuesday morning (March 27).
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said it was honoring Landrieu for his leadership during the removal process "while offering candid, clear and compassionate reflections on the moment and its place in history."
Senator John F. Kennedy, Raleigh, North Carolina, September 17, 1960:
I come here to North Carolina to set before you the goals for America and to ask you to join with me in rebuilding our strength in leading America across its New Frontier. For, as a New Englander, I recognize that the South is still the land of Washington, who made our Nation - of Jefferson, who shaped its directions - and of Robert E. Lee who, after gallant failure, urged those who had followed him in bravery to re-unite America in purpose and courage. (excerpt)
President John F. Kennedy, Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963:
Mr. Speaker, Prime Minister, Members of the Parliament:
I am grateful for your welcome and for that of your countrymen.
The 13th day of September, 1862, will be a day long remembered in American history. At Fredericksburg, Maryland, thousands of men fought and died on one of the bloodiest battlefields of the American Civil War. One of the most brilliant stories of that day was written by a band of 1200 men who went into battle wearing a green sprig in their hats. They bore a proud heritage and a special courage, given to those who had long fought for the cause of freedom. I am referring, of course, to the Irish Brigade. General Robert E. Lee, the great military leader of the Southern Confederate Forces, said of this group of men after the battle, "The gallant stand which this bold brigade made on the heights of Fredericksburg is well known. Never were men so brave. They ennobled their race by their splendid gallantry on that desperate occasion. Their brilliant though hopeless assaults on our lines excited the hearty applause of our officers and soldiers." (excerpt)