Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Character of the American Soldier

With our soldiers about to go into battle, I am moved to thank them and to pray for their well being. You might want to look at Douglas MacArthur’s great speech at West Point in 1962, two years before he died. Of course you should read the whole speech, but let me just quote a few lines from it, ones that are most appropriate for this day and this action. If you ever get a chance to listen to the speech (it was recorded, but I couldn’t find it on line), please do so and be prepared to shed tears.
Thanks to PejmanPundit for bringing the speech to my attention yesterday. Here is MacArthur on the American soldier, speaking to future officers.

"And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable, are they brave, are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you; it is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now - as one of the world’s noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty he gave - all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism; he belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom; he belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage."

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