However, here is how he started his visit, with a short but sweet speech at Dublin Airport after landing on 26 June 1963.
“Mr President, there are many reasons why I was anxious to accept your generous invitation, and to come to this country. As you said, eight of my grandparents left these shores in the space, almost, of months, and came to the United States. No country in the world, in the history of the world, has endured the haemorrhage which this island endured over a period of a few years for so many of her sons and daughters. These sons and daughters who are scattered all over the globe, who have been among the best and most loyal citizens of the countries that they have gone to, but have also kept a special place in their memories, in many cases their ancestral memory, of this green and misty island, so, in a sense, all of them who visit Ireland come home.
|Kennedy addressing the dignitaries and crowd gathered to greet him at Dublin Airport|
26 November 2014
“And then I am glad to be here because this island still fulfills a historic assignment. There are Irishmen buried many thousands of miles from here who went on missions of peace, either as soldiers or as churchmen, who travelled throughout the world, carrying the gospel as so many Irish have done for so many hundreds of years.
If you'd like to find out more details about Kennedy's visit, you will find plenty in our digital book, President John F. Kennedy Visits in 1963, available from the iTunes Store.