John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks to a Group of Civil Air Patrol Cadets.

May 07, 1962

I WANT to express my thanks to all of you for coming this morning, and for this award. I was invited to this affair by General Spaatz, who was of course the Commander of the Air force in Europe in World War II, later Commander of the United States Air force, who emphasized to me the very vital role which the Civil Air Patrol plays in supplying future cadets for the Air force--supplying assistance to fliers who may be downed. I understand that at least one of you has participated in a rescue operation of a downed flier.

This is a very valuable service which you render to our country. There is still a tremendous need for manned aircraft. The exhibition we saw down at Eglin Air force Base on Friday of manned aircraft indicates that even though we are, on the one hand, moving into the missile age, there is still need for fliers and will be for many years to come.

Our experience in Southeast Asia using old planes indicates the kind of difficulties that we may be faced with in many areas of the world, and the particular kind of flying talent which is necessary.

So I do want to emphasize that even though we may be interested and at times stimulated by the movement into the missile space age, the need for manned aircraft is going to continue--certainly for the future that we can see ahead--and will serve a very vital national interest.

I am particularly glad to have you ladies here and participating in this program--I'm sorry I wasn't in it when I was younger.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 a.m. in the Rose Garden. Prior to his remarks the cadets presented him an honorary life membership in the Civil Air Patrol.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks to a Group of Civil Air Patrol Cadets. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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