Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it—we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding."
What is Kennedy's claim in this excerpt?
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He's claiming that the US, just like with every other era, is supposed to be at the forefront of this era.The beginning portion of it, where he's talking about how in the past, America has been the leader of each era or has at least been at the front of it. "country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power" shows that.