20 Jahre "Voice of America"
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(Washington, D.C., 26. Februar 1962)
Occuoying as I do a rather secondary status these days, I am very appreciative to you all for waiting. I think that this meeting is tied up with the common American interest in Colonel Glenn
|GLENN, John Herschel, Jr. (*18.07.1921)|
US-amer. Militärangehöriger, Testpilot, Astronaut, Geschäftsmann und Politiker (Dem., Senator für Ohio 1987-95). Glenn wurde insbesondere als Astronaut des amerikanischen Mercury-Programm bekannt und umkreiste als erster US-Amerikaner drei Mal die Erde. 36 Jahre später war Glenn 1998 mit der Space-Shuttle-Mission erneut im Weltraum. In der Politik wirkte er u.a. als Senator für Ohio und bewarb sich 1984 erfolglos als demokratischer Präsidentschaftskandidat. Kennedy erwähnte ihn während seiner Reden an der Rice University 1962 und zum 20 Geburtstag von "Voice of America" im gleichen Jahr.
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|SHEPARD, Alan "Al" Bartlett, Jr. (*18.11.1923 - †21.07.1998)|
US-amer. Militärangehöriger, Testpilot und Raumfahrer.
Shepard war der erste Astronaut der Vereinigten Staaten im Weltraum, und bei einer späteren Mission der fünfte Mensch auf dem Mond. Er war zu diesem Zeitpunkt bereits 47 Jahre alt, bei Weitem der älteste der Mondfahrer. Er war der erste Mercury-Astronaut, der es bis zum Mond geschafft hatte, und er sollte der einzige bleiben. Von Präsident Nixon wurde er im Juli zum Delegierten für die UN-Vollversammlung ernannt und blieb von September bis Dezember 1971 in diesem Amt. Shepard verstarb 1998 im Alter von 74 Jahren an Leukämie. Kennedy erwähnte ihn im Rahmen seiner Rede zum 20. Geburtstag von "Voice of America" am 26.02.1962.
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I was most anxious to come here personally today, because I put such great importance in the work that you are doing. The Voice of America occupies, I believe, a key part in the story of American life. What we do here in this country, and what we are, what we want to be, represents really a great experiment in a most difficult kind of self-discipline, and that is the organization and maintenance and development of the progress of free government. And it is your task, as the executives and participants in the Voice of America, to tell that story around the world.
This is an extremely difficult and sensitive task. On the one hand you are an arm of the Government and therefore an arm of the Nation, and it is your task to bring our story around the world in a way which serves to represent democracy and the United States in its most favorable light. But on the other hand, as part of the cause of freedom, and the arm of freedom, you are obliged to tell our story in a truthful way, to tell it, as Oliver Cromwell
|CROMWELL, Oliver (*25.04.1599 - †03.09.1658)|
Englischer Feldherr, Politiker und 1. Lordprotektor von England, Schottland und Irland.
In der Geschichte der Britischen Inseln ist Cromwell eine umstrittene Persönlichkeit. Manche Historiker bewerten ihn als Königsmörder und Diktator, während er anderen als Freiheitsheld gilt. Er lehnte die Königswürde trotz des Angebots des Parlaments 1657 ab. Cromwell starb am 3. September 1658 an Malaria, an der er sich in Irland infiziert hatte, kombiniert mit "Stein"-Beschwerden (Nieren- und Blasensteinen). Kennedy erwähnte ihn während seiner Rede zum 20. Geburtstag von "Voice of America" am 26.02.1962.
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We compete with other means of communication, of those who are our adversaries who tell only the good stories. But the things that go bad in America, you must tall that also. And we hope that the bad and the good is sifted together by people of judgment and discretion and taste and discrimination, that they will realize what we are trying to do here.
This presents to you an almost impossible challenge, and it is a source of satisfaction to me that in the last 20 years you have met that challenge so well. I know that there are those who are always critical of the Voice, but I believe that over the years, faced with this very difficult challenge, far more difficult than that of an American editor or a newspaperman, or a commentator on an American radio or television station, you have been able to tell our story in a way which makes it believable and credible. And that is what I hope you will continue to do in the future.
The first words that the Voice of America spoke were 20 years ago. They said, "The Voice of America speaks. Today America has been at war for 79 days. Daily at this time we shall speak to you about America and the war, and the news may be good or bad. We shall tell you the truth." And so you have, for 20 years--and so you shall for 20 years more.
In 1946 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution reading in part, "freedom of information is a fundamental human right, and the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated." This is our touchstone as well. This is the code of the Voice of America. We welcome the views of others. We seek a free flow of information across national boundaries and oceans, across iron curtains and stone walls. We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
The Voice of America thus carries a heavy responsibility. Its burden of truth is not easy to bear. It must explain to a curious and suspicious world what we are. It must tell them of our basic beliefs. It must tell them of a country which is in some ways a rather old country--certainly old as republics go. And yet it must make our ideas alive and new and vital in the high competition which goes on around the world since the end of World War II.
In the last 20 years the Voice of America and its parent organization have grown in strength and in stature, but in the next 20 years our opportunities to tell our story will expand beyond belief. The advent of the communications satellite, the modernization of education of less-developed nations, the new wonders of electronics and technology, all these and other developments will give our generation an unprecedented opportunity to tell our story. And we must not only be equal to the opportunity, but to the challenge as well.
For in the next 20 years your problem and ours as a country, in telling our story, will grow more complex. The choices we present to the world will be more difficult, and for some the future will seem even more empty of hope and progress. The barrage upon truth will grow more constant, and some people cannot bear the responsibility of a free choice which goes with self-government. And finally, shrinking from choice, they turn to those who prevent them from choosing, and thus find in a kind of prison, a kind of security.
We believe that people are capable of standing the burdens and the pressures which choice places upon them, and it is because of this strong conviction that this organization functions, and it is because there is this commitment to this view that you continue to serve in it.
None of you are interested in serving in an agency which merely reflects a line which the Government from time to time may set down. You serve in it--and you all could serve in different agencies or in different parts of life--because you believe, I am sure, that this is a vital part of telling our story around the world.
And as you tell it, it spreads. And as it spreads, not only is the security of the United States assisted, but the cause of freedom.
So I salute you on your 20th birthday and say that in the next 20 years when these choices will become more vital to us, I believe that the Voice of America will be fulfilling its function, as it did that first day when it committed itself to truth.
Thank you. ♦