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Pax Americana

John F. Kennedy

American University Commencement Address

delivered 10 June 1963

"I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived. And that is the most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? 

Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children -- not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time."

"According to Putin, the memorial is not only “a tribute to the great deeds,” but also a warning that “this peace is fragile.”

“And we have to guard peace. And remember that the most valuable thing on Earth is a peaceful and quiet life,” he added.

Numerous examples in world history show “what a terrible price” is paid if human rights and liberties are violated for the sake of serving vested interests.

“Humankind should grasp one truth: violence generates violence. And the way to peace and prosperity is made up of good will and dialogue, and the memory of the lessons of the last wars.”


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