Please note the source of the entire speech at the bottom of this webpage. The context of the speech is found in that source.
… It was here my grandparents were born—it is here I hope my grandchildren will be born.
I speak neither from false provincial pride nor artful political flattery. For no man about to enter high office in this country can ever be unmindful of the contribution this state has made to our national greatness.
Its leaders have shaped our destiny long before the great republic was born. Its principles have guided our footsteps in times of crisis as well as in times of calm. Its democratic institutions—including this historic body—have served as beacon lights for other nations as well as our sister states.
For what Pericles said to the Athenians has long been true of this commonwealth: “We do not imitate—for we are a model to others.”
And so it is that I carry with me from this state to that high and lonely office to which I now succeed more than fond memories of firm friendships. The enduring qualities of Massachusetts—the common threads woven by the Pilgrim and the Puritan, the fisherman and the farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant—will not be and could not be forgotten in this nation’s executive mansion.
They are an indelible part of my life, my convictions, my view of the past, and my hopes for the future.
Allow me to illustrate: During the last sixty days, I have been at the task of constructing an administration. It has been a long and deliberate process. Some have counseled greater speed. Others have counseled more expedient tests.
But I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella three hundred and thirty-one years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier.
“We must always consider,” he said, “that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.”
Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us—and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill—constructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities.
For we are setting out upon a voyage in 1961 no less hazardous than that undertaken by the Arabella in 1630. We are committing ourselves to tasks of statecraft no less awesome than that of governing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, beset as it was then by terror without and disorder within. …
-What does JFK think has been Massachusetts’ role, and his new role, for the nation?
-What, if anything, is similar between Winthrop’s and JFK’s “City upon a Hill” reference?