John F. Kennedy would have celebrated his 100th birthday on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017. In tribute to JFK, the 35th President of the United States, and his centennial year, IrishCentral is looking back on the life and times of the charismatic and intriguing Irish-American leader; from his early years to his rise to the presidency, to his untimely assassination in November 1963 at just 46 years old.

For more on JFK and the Kennedy family, you can visit our special topic page.

Here are our favorite quotes from the 35th U.S. president:

1. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

2. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

3. “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

4. “If not us, who? If not now when?"

5. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

6. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

7. "Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.”

8. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

9. “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

10. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

11. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

12. “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.”

 

 

John F. Kennedy, photographed in 1957.