John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks in Brunswick, Maine, at the Navy Summer festival.

August 10, 1962

Senator Muskie, my friend and former colleague; Mrs. Smith, whom I had the great pleasure of serving with in the Senate; Governor Reed; Congressman Tupper; Congressman McIntire; Mr. Dolloff; Mr. Hathaway; our distinguished leader in the AID agency, frank Coffin; Mr. Dubord; ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express my very warm appreciation to you for coming out in the rain. I was informed before I came here that there is no place more beautiful than Maine when the sun shines. And I know that it is going to be one of those great weekends that we will all long remember, and it's off to a most promising start.

But I do want to say that whether it shines or whether it rains, that I am delighted to be in this State and on the ocean. In coming to Maine, I follow in the footsteps of a most distinguished predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt. My earliest recollection, really, of President Roosevelt was a picture I saw after his nomination in 1932 when he came with his sons and sailed along the coast of Maine, and a very magic picture of him sitting at the wheel of a sailboat. So I feel that I'm following in distinguished tracks when I come to Maine and am here today.

I am also glad to come because on Monday the people of this State and country are going to join with the people of Canada in christening a bridge in honor of President Roosevelt, which is one more very strong link in the intimate ties that bind this State and country, not only with our distinguished former President, but also with our close friends to the north. And I hope it will be possible for Canada and the United States to follow this step and make a park out of the President's home, because it will remind both Canada and the United States of a very strong and vigorous believer in the life in this section of the United States.

I'm glad to come to Maine also, not only because Maine was once part of Massachusetts, but also as a New Englander I feel a strong sense of satisfaction in coming back here. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut lack some of the great natural resources which have brought prosperity to other sections of the country. But the great asset which they have, which our States do have, is the ability and independence and commitment of the people themselves. And I believe that these States which helped found our country still occupy a position of leadership.

It's particularly appropriate to come to this community on the occasion when the community and the Navy are joined together, and when we have standing on our right as well as our left, some of the men who make it possible for all of us to enjoy ourselves today and tomorrow and Sunday. I want to express our thanks to them. They may be on this base today, but the presence, their training, their skill, and their colleagues in ships scattered all over the oceans, hundreds of miles from land in many cases, keep the freedom of countries thousands of miles away.

It is the United States Navy and their companions in the Air force and in the Army that today stand as the great defenders of freedom all around the globe.

So I think it's most appropriate that the people of this community participate in this effort for the Navy Relief fund and also for your own people in your own home city.

I am glad to be in Maine. Whether it rains or shines I am privileged to be with you.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 6:15 p.m. at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine. In his opening words he referred to U.S. Senators Edmund S. Muskie and Margaret Chase Smith, Governor John H. Reed, U.S. Representatives Stanley R. Tupper and Clifford G. McIntire, all of Maine; Maynard C. Dolloff, Democratic candidate for Governor of Maine; William D. Hathaway, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, Second District, Maine; frank M. Coffin, Deputy Administrator for Program, Agency for International Development; and Richard J. Dubord, Democratic National Committeeman for Maine.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks in Brunswick, Maine, at the Navy Summer festival. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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