John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Arrival at the Missile Range, White Sands, New Mexico.

June 05, 1963

General Mr. Vice President, Senator Russell, Congressman Morris, Congressman Montoya, Governor, ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express very warm appreciation to all of you for your generous welcome and for coming out to greet us.

The Vice President spoke this morning at the Naval Academy and has come here. I went with some members of the Congress to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. We visited the North American Defense Center up in Colorado, and now we come here.

I think all of us who leave Washington, D.C., with all of its complexities and all of its diverse views, and all of its areas of decision, are tremendously heartened by a visit to those of you who are working in the field and who can see day by day measurable progress which strengthens our country and those associated with it. This must give you the greatest possible satisfaction because never in history has so much depended upon one people, and I think never in history has one people been so willing to assume that responsibility.

Here in this ancient part of the United States, settled before all the rest, where so much has happened in a concentrated period in the last 20 years which has marked all kinds of changes in war, the means of defense, and now the movement into outer space, and all of you are a vital part of it.

What you do here far away from Washington, far away from some of our great capitals, far away from the many countries which depend upon us, what you do here, what progress you make, what dedication you demonstrate makes a significant difference to the security of our country and to those who depend upon us. That is an almost unique role to play, and I know you feel the same sense of pride in your chance, in your time, in your day, to play a part in the life of the Great Republic as do all of us whose responsibilities are somewhat different.

I want to express my thanks to all of you. We admire what you are doing, and, even more important, are very grateful to all of you.

Thank you.

Note: The President's opening words referred to Maj. Gen. John F. Thorlin, commander of the Missile Range; Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson; Senator Richard B. Russell of Georgia; Representatives Thomas G. Morris and Joseph M. Montoya of New Mexico; and Governor lack M. Campbell of New Mexico.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Arrival at the Missile Range, White Sands, New Mexico. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



New Mexico

Simple Search of Our Archives