Richard Myers | Yearning for that Feeling of Pride

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I am not a historian. I can’t name all the presidents. I know the first, the current, and some in between. That’s all.

Nevertheless, I’m 88 years old and, having lived through the terms of many, I know what I liked and what I don’t like.

It occurs to me that anyone who runs for the presidency must have an ego the size of the Grand Canyon and that’s OK. In fact, it’s probably necessary if one is truly going to lead.

Some run for the office because they believe the country needs their particular leadership. I call them patriots. Others run because they have the opportunity and to boost their ego. I’m not quite sure what to call them, but fortunately they are seldom elected.

Having said all that, I’d like to tell you my favorite president. 

Harry Truman was great. He was businesslike. He was a straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is kind of a guy and I liked him a lot, but he was not my favorite.

My favorite was John F. Kennedy and for a simple reason: He made me proud to be an American. Sure, he made some mistakes, I won’t dispute that, but he looked like a president should look, he spoke like a president should speak, he acted like a president should act, and he cared like a president should care.

I’ve always been proud to be an American, but never so much as when John F. Kennedy was in office. I felt that everyone must be feeling the same. I felt a oneness with my countrymen.

It is a grand and wonderful feeling that I hope every American experiences.

I truly didn’t realize how grand and wonderful that feeling was until I lost it.

I yearn to have it back.

Richard Myers

Valencia

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