Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (191763)
We in this country, in this generation, areby destiny rather than choicethe watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, good will toward men. That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
President JOHN F. KENNEDY, remarks prepared for delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 894.
This speech was never delivered. President Kennedy was on his way to the Trade Mart when he was assassinated. The quotations are from the Bible, Luke 2:14 and Psalms 127:1, respectively.