(CNN) - On the 50th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s swearing in and the delivery of the iconic line, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy said he’s heeding his uncle’s words.
The most recent Kennedy to serve elected office plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his uncle’s charge to the nation with his own plan to “unlock the mysteries of the mind” and find cures for neurological disorders. Kennedy stressed the importance of treating soldiers that suffer from those illnesses and the need to “de-stigmatize wounds of the brain.”
“Let’s do what he did for the moon shot and do it for the mind shot, to unlock these mysteries of neuroscience and free millions of people,” Kennedy said Thursday on CNN’s “John King, USA.” “The notion that suicide is the biggest enemy we have should open our eyes to saying you know everybody can benefit from us doing this research for the benefit of the soldier.”
JFK, in a special message delivered to Congress on May 25, 1961, called on legislators to fund a project to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Astronaut Neil Armstrong accomplished the goal after Apollo 11’s lunar module landed on July 20, 1969.
Although the Kennedys are currently out of elected office for the first time since the Truman administration, Patrick Kennedy - the son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy - said members of his family are now serving though different avenues. And he was quick to describe his cousin Joe’s “perfect profile” for elected office.
Joseph P. Kennedy III - the son of former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II and the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy - served in the Peace Corps before earning his law degree at Harvard and is currently an assistant district attorney in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“If I were to identify someone who’s got a perfect profile, and I hope if he ever chooses to run I’ll certainly, like all members of my family, be there to help him,” Patrick Kennedy told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
In the spring of 2010 Joe decided against running for Congress in the midterm elections.