Opinion: America in winter

Photo by Sarah Silbiger / The New York Times / President Joe Biden speaks on the cancer moonshot initiative at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, in Boston, on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.

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."

And no one doubted for a minute that we could do hard things. Because America was a nation in spring.

Last Monday, on the 60th anniversary of Kennedy's speech, President Joe Biden committed America to ending cancer as we know it. And it was winter.

Again, that has less to do with the calendar than with the national spirit.