The article “Arlington cemetery offers a history beyond war” in the Nov. 27 edition reminded me of my visit to the grave of John F. Kennedy.

Arriving at the grave, the first thing I did was pray for the repose of Kennedy, feeling the solemn quietness of the site with the eternal flame and its surrounding atmosphere.

His wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is buried next to President Kennedy. Not so far away on the hillside, a simple but very beautiful white Christian cross stands for Robert F. Kennedy.

The article tells us that JFK’s famous quote, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,’ is engraved nearby.

In Kennedy’s inaugural address, he asked every American people to contribute to their own country. However, in the same speech he also said, “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

He asked everyone in the world to participate in the mission of freedom for all humankind.

In describing his strategy for peace, he said that “I am talking about genuine peace — the kind of peace that makes life on Earth worth living — the kind that enables men and nations to grow and hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all mankind — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”

Isn’t this genuine approach to peace really an unchangeable principle anywhere and anytime? Politics in each country is a means to this end.

Not a few countries in the world have very difficult and complicated political situations, and their leaders are facing important decisions. Please allow me to pray sincerely that every leader will be aware of this goal and his or her great responsibility.

Hiroshi Noro

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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