This is a transcription of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A copy of the speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers here at the John F. Kennedy Library.

SENATOR KENNEDY: Congressman Gray, Senator Powell, Speaker Powell, Senator Douglas, Otto Kerner, the next Governor, ladies and gentlemen: I have served in the Congress for 14 years, and during a good percentage of that time I served on the Veterans Committee of the Senate, so I have some understanding of the importance of this hospital, the service it performs, the assistance it renders to those Americans who have need of a hand from the government, Americans who helped this country maintain its freedom. So I am delighted to be here today.

I believe that this hospital and hospitals like it must continue to grow to meet the needs of our population, and also that this country must grow. All of us who are here today, who are veterans of World War I or World War II, or the Spanish American War, must also recognize that our obligations and our service to our country were not passed by military service in time of war. We also must serve our country in time of peace. We must insist that the United States take those hard decisions which go with being secure, with maintaining our freedom, with maintaining our strength, with maintaining our position in the world.

I think the veterans of the United States having made their contribution in their youth to the survival of this country, can, at a later date, in other days, facing different dangers, make a contribution again. So I am delighted to come here today. I appreciate very much your coming outside and saying hello, and I want to assure you that we share the same hope, not only for this state, but also for the country. Thank you. (Applause)