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About Search. Halaby, distinguished Members of Congress, Mr. Hechler, Mr. Staggers, my longtime friends and distinguished guests on the platform:. It is a great pleasure to be here with you on this delightful Sunday afternoon. This airport represents the triumph of a dream and a test of the power of unity. For three decades you have worked to make this modern airport come true. Your faith and energy have surmounted every difficulty. The people of Morgantown can look forward to a brighter and a more hopeful life because of this work that you have done.
This airport was not the work of any single group. It was built by the cooperation of civic groups and local officials, of city, State, and Nation. It is proof that if we work with each other, instead of fight each other, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. And what is true for Morgantown is true for America. I want to commend the people of West Virginia for the high quality of public servants that they have selected. I know of no Members of the Senate with whom I have ever served that have been more diligent or more devoted than your able Senators, Jennings Randolph and Bob Byrd.
I deeply appreciate the assistance they have given me every time I have called upon them to be of help. I am grateful for the fine work that your Congressman Hechler and Congressman Staggers and other Members of the West Virginia delegation have given me, and the cooperation they have extended during the time I have been President.
In the years to come, by working together, group with group, section with section, we will defeat the forces of division and we will keep our country moving ahead. The hills and valleys of this State still echo to the memory of a great American, and a great friend of West Virginia, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He often talked to me about this State. He often talked to me about these people.
He spoke of your problems, the strength of your people, the courage with which you faced hardship; always the warmth of your hospitality. He wanted so much to help West Virginia. Not because you helped him, but because he believed the progress of West Virginia was a test of the greatness of all of America.
So I come here this afternoon to tell you that I share his belief, and I will carry on with his work. Training programs, area redevelopment programs, the Appalachian program, the poverty program, will all give people the skills to find new jobs. They will develop industry to provide those jobs.
West Virginia has known more than its share of poverty and idleness and hunger. But let no one say this was because your people were lazy, or indifferent, or without initiative. West Virginians opened our earliest frontiers. West Virginians brought forth the resources which made America grow. West Virginians went forth by the tens of thousands to fight for their country. And thousands of West Virginian boys, your boys, now lay beneath foreign soil, a monument to the courage and the patriotism of the people of West Virginia.
You have provided heroes in war and you have provided builders in peace. West Virginia has given much to the land we love, the land of America. America must never forget it, and it will not forget it as long as I am President. I have traveled through your State and I have talked to your people. I have found strong men and women, willing to help at all times. I have found men who want nothing more than a chance to use their minds and their hands to provide for their families, and to build for their country. We are going to give them that chance. We are going to do it because it is right; we are going to do it because it is our duty; we are going to do it because America needs a strong and a growing and a prosperous West Virginia.
The problems of West Virginia, your problems, are a consequence of national progress. Industry has moved to new markets. Machines have replaced men. New resources have taken the place of old. These changes were inevitable. They have been part of the growth of a mighty nation. Now the Nation must help those who have been left behind.
From the beginning of our history Government has helped provide opportunity to the people. The canals and the public works of the years before the Civil War were built by Government and private enterprise together.
The lands of the West were thrown open to the settlers by the Government. Under Abraham Lincoln the Federal Government stimulated education through the land grant colleges. All of these actions provided new jobs and new chances for business, and new stimulation to growth.
This partnership and this responsibility is the oldest American tradition. It is one that we recognize, and I pledge Single women to be lazy for the Morgantown it is one that we plan to continue. Giving a man a chance to work and feed his family and provide for his children does not destroy his initiative. Hunger destroys initiative. Hopelessness destroys initiative.
Ignorance destroys initiative. A cold and an indifferent government destroys initiative. We are going to strike away the conditions which damage a man's dignity and self respect, and capacity for fulfillment. We are going to give every man the chance to build his own place in this abundant land of ours.
And by doing this we are going to strengthen the initiative of the individual, strengthen the freedom of the Nation, and bring prosperity to all of our people. There are some among us who need more skills and a chance to work.
There are the hungry still to be fed and the sick to be tended, and the old to be given dignity in the twilight of life. This, too, is part of America's responsibility. God has commanded us, "They shall not harden their hearts to the needy. The day America hardens its heart, the day the fortunate turn away from the helpless, the day compassion turns to indifference, on that day we will begin to decline from greatness. So let us pray that that day never comes. Franklin Roosevelt once said, "Too many who prate about saving democracy are really only interested in saving things as they were.
Democracy should concern itself also with things as they ought to be. This ought to be a land, a nation, a country with compassion for the helpless. This ought to be an opportunity for all who seek a better life. Yes, this is the concern of our democracy. And that is the road that we are going to take as long as I am the leader of this country. Note: The President spoke in the midafternoon. In his opening words he referred to Jennings Randolph and Robert C. Buehler, mayor of Morgantown, W.
Staggers, Representatives from West Virginia. Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Dedication of the Morgantown, W. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. The American Presidency Project. Toggle. Remarks at the Dedication of the Morgantown, W. September 20, Staggers, my longtime friends and distinguished guests on the platform: It is a great pleasure to be here with you on this delightful Sunday afternoon.
West Virginia is making progress. Unemployment has declined 43 percent. New food stamp programs are giving strength to the hungry. Thank you. Filed Under. Miscellaneous Remarks. Location West Virginia. Simple Search of Our Archives.
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Remarks at the Dedication of the Morgantown, W. Va., Airport.