President Obama has declared Friday a Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy, and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK's death.
"With broad vision and soaring but sober idealism, President John F. Kennedy had called a generation to service and summoned a Nation to greatness," Obama says in his proclamation. "Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his enduring imprint on American history."
Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.
From Obama's proclamation:
"A half century ago, America mourned the loss of an extraordinary public servant.
"With broad vision and soaring but sober idealism, President John F. Kennedy had called a generation to service and summoned a Nation to greatness. Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his enduring imprint on American history.
"In his 3 years as President of the United States, John F. Kennedy weathered some of the most perilous tests of the Cold War and led America to the cusp of a bright new age.
"His leadership through the Cuban Missile Crisis remains the standard for American diplomacy at its finest. In a divided Berlin, he delivered a stirring defense of freedom that would echo through the ages, yet he also knew that we must advance human rights here at home.
"During his final year in office, he proposed a civil rights bill that called for an end to segregation in America. And recognizing women's basic right to earn a living equal to their efforts, he signed the Equal Pay Act into law.
"While President Kennedy's life was tragically cut short, his vision lives on in the generations he inspired -- volunteers who serve as ambassadors for peace in distant corners of the globe, scientists and engineers who reach for new heights in the face of impossible odds, innovators who set their sights on the new frontiers of our time.
"Today and in the decades to come, let us carry his legacy forward. Let us face today's tests by beckoning the spirit he embodied -- that fearless, resilient, uniquely American character that has always driven our Nation to defy the odds, write our own destiny, and make the world anew.
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 22, 2013, as a Day of Remembrance for President John F. Kennedy."
Written By: David Jackson, USA TODAY