Quotation by John Fitzgerald Kennedy

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963), U.S. president. Inaugural address, January 20, 1961, Washington, DC. quoted in Theodore C. Sorenson, Kennedy, pt. 3, ch. 9 (1965).

Kennedy continued, "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." Many antecedents to these words have been cited, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in his Memorial Day address, 1884: "It is now the moment ... to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return." Kennedy himself expressed the same idea in a televised campaign address, September 20, 1960.
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