In its [knowledges] light, we must think and act not only for the moment but for our time. I am reminded of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.
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Source Notes: Source: President JOHN F. KENNEDY, address at the University of California, Berkeley, California, March 23, 1962.Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 266.Kennedy used this story a number of times. The attribution to Marshal Lyautey is unverified.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 November 22, 1963), often referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. He served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. A member of the prominent Kennedy political family, he is considered an icon of American liberalism. During World War II, he served as a naval lieutenant in the Pacific theater and was cited for exceptional bravery for the rescue of his men. Kennedy is the youngest person ever to have been elected president of the United States, at the age of 43. (Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest ever to serve as President of the United States.)