In his State of the Union address, President Kennedy said, “ It is the fate of this generation…to live with a struggle we did not start in a world we did not make….  But the pressures of life are not always distributed by choice.  And while no nation has ever faced such a challenge, no nation has ever been so ready to seize the burden and the glory of freedom.” 
The following day, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced that he and Ambassador to South Vietnam Frederick E. Nolting, Jr. were flying to Hawaii for a day-long meeting on “the Communist threat to South Vietnam.”  An aide said that Secretary McNamara was “determined to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in the effort to support South Vietnam against the communist guerrillas, known as the Viet Cong.”       The New York Times