I have always felt that I’ve received a solid education of American history (and world history) up to and including WWII. However, the time period after that, approximately 1960-2001, has been sort of a vague cloud of mystery to me.
I reason that, because teachers always start with history way back at the beginning, they run out of time covering all the material and would breeze through recent history with less depth. It’s also possible that recent history is more prone to heated debate, controversy, and opinionated views because time has not decided who was right yet. It’s also possibly I didn’t pay close enough attention. Whatever the reason, I never felt knowledgeable of that time period, but I am slowly trying to learn.
So, I decided to watch the movie JFK with Kevin Costner. It is a long, slow-paced docudrama, but it was a revelation to me. It is strikingly relevant to our time, particularly with the controversy over the NSA. I am truly blown away.
Here are a few of the many powerful quotes from the movie:
"What kind of national security do we have when we’ve been robbed of our leaders? What national security permits the removal of fundamental power from the hands of the American people and validates the ascendancy of an invisible government in the United States?"
"Going back to when we were children, I think most of us in this courtroom thought justice came automatically. That virtue was its own reward. That good triumphs over evil. But as we get older, we know this isn’t true. Individual human beings have to create justice, and this is not easy because the truth often poses a threat to power and one often has to fight power at great risk to themselves."
"The truth is the most important value we have because if the truth does not endure, if the government murders truth, if we cannot respect the hearts of these people, then this is not the country in which I was born and this is certainly not the country I want to die in."
Perhaps the most powerful quote lies in the credits:
"Dedicated to the young, in whose spirit the search for truth marches on."