President John F. Kennedy committed America to landing on the moon in a speech on Sept. 12, 1962. It was spring. The calendar said otherwise, yes. But as has been argued before in this space, Kennedy presided over a season of renewal, a season when optimism was birthright, confidence, high and horizons, endless.

“We choose to go to the moon … and do the other things,” he famously declared, “not because they are easy but because they are hard.”

LEONARD PITTS is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may contact him via email at lpitts@miamiherald.com.

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