Sunday, October 19, 2014



We have recently received an email from Mr. Luis G. Lobo*, a native of Costa Rica, providing a link to his recently published op-ed piece titled "Luis Lobo on JFK's rallying cry to greatness" published in the Winston-Salem Journal.

In the article, Mr. Lobo responds to a column written by George Will in which he describes the public view of JFK's greatness as "nonsensical."

Luis Lobo writes...

"It is my opinion that Kennedy's memory endures due to his administration's giving the United States a sense of purpose.  He challenged us.  We were asked to look beyond our borders with the...Peace Corps and (to look) within our own consciences (civil rights)."

Mr. Lobo's father came to the United States in the early 1960s "seeking his own self-actualization and providing an 'American education' for his children."

Luis G. Lobo, who is today executive vice-president for BB&T, came to join his father at the age of 10.  When he entered the 4th grade in Lincolnton, North Carolina in January 1971, he was unfamiliar with American culture, customs and language 

Luis was able to secure an audio tape of JFK's Inaugural Address and, in his own words, "wore that...tape out and even memorized long parts of the speech."

Luis was already familiar with JFK having seen his portrait hanging in his great uncle's living room in Costa Rica.  Thus began, Luis's long obsession with President Kennedy.

Please check out Mr. Lobo's blog at He describes it as "a tome of what is meaningful and what is trivial in life."

Luis G. Lobo
ABA Stonier Graduate 
School of Banking

*Luis G. Lobo, born in Costa Rica, was raised in Lincolnton, NC.  He graduated from Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, NC in 1983 with majors in economics and business administration.

Mr. Lobo earned an MBA at Campbell University in Buies Creeks, NC.   In 2004, he published "It IS Your Attitude," and today lectures at colleges and forums on Change Management and Sales Culture.

In 2014, LGL received the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Americanism Medal.

Luis G. Lobo


San Jose, Costa Rica (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy arrived here in San Jose on March 18, 1963, for the President's Conference of the Central American Republics, a meeting of heads of state devoted to the goals of the Alliance for Progress.

This marked the first time a President of the United States had traveled to Central America to confer with all the leaders of the region.

In his remarks at the airport in San Jose, JFK said:

"Christopher Columbus, after having discovered Costa Rica, turned from Panama and began his last journey home.  He described this fourth voyage as the high voyage, and I feel that this is a high voyage for all of us who meet today in this free and democratic country."

Later, JFK proposed a toast at a dinner given in his honor at the Presidential Palace.  JFK said...

"I hope that members of the United States will join me in drinking (a toast) to the people of Central America and Panama, and to the very good health of our friends, the Presidents, who have stood with the United States in the cause of freedom..."


San Jose, Costa Rica (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the students of the University of Costa Rica here in San Jose on March 20, 1963.

The President said....

"It is a great pleasure to leave Washington, where I am lectured to by professors, to come to Costa Rica where I can speak to students.

Under a system of political liberty, we can solve the economic problems that press upon our people.  Together...(we) can conquer the ancient enemies of man, poverty, ignorance and hunger...protect freedom against those who would destroy it...bring hope to those who search for (it) and extend liberty to those who lack it."**

President Kennedy concluded his address by saying:

"Every one of us will go home with the most profound impression of what a strong, vital people can accomplish.  And I think that this journey to Costa Rica has illuminated the minds of 180 million people of what a great opportunity and privilege we have to be associated together in our common cause. Viva Costa Rica. Arriba Costa Rica. Muchas gracias."


"Luis Lobo on JFK's rallying cry to greatness," Winston-Salem Journal

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy, January 1, to November 22, 1963."  United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1964.


We would like to express our most sincere thanks to Luis Lobo for contacting us. It is indeed an honor for our blog to be read by such an accomplished and dedicated American who also appreciates the greatness of President Kennedy.

JFK Motorcade in Costa Rica