Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Duty, Honor, Country

On May 12, 1962 Douglas MacArthur gave a speech at Westpoint that I feel exemplifies the American code of ethics. He spoke on the ideals of Duty, Honor, Country. He said that these hallowed words should dictate what we ought to be, what we can be, what we will be. They should rally us. Help us to build courage when courage seems to fail. to regain faith when there seems little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. As we have seen with Glen Beck and his slogan Faith, Hope and Charity the unbelievers will say they are but words. Every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, will try to downgrade these words even to the extent of mockery and ridicule just as they have with with Faith, Hope and Charity but these words build character. They mold our future roles as the custodians of the nations defense. They make us strong enough to know when we are weak, and brave enough to face ourselves when we are afraid. They teach us to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success. They teach us not to substitute words for actions, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge, to learn to stand up in the storm but to have compassion on those who fall; to master ourselves before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future yet never neglect the past; to be serious yet never to take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. These words create in our hearts the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next and the joy and inspiration of life.
Our soldiers who have fought so diligently and suffered so much and lost much so that we can have the freedoms that we enjoy truly know the meaning of these words. They know that the code of ethics that these word perpetuate embrace the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics of philosophies ever promulgated for mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. Our soldiers, above all other men, practice the greatest act-- sacrifice. However, horrible the incidents of war may be, our soldiers are called upon to offer and to give their lives for our country. They are trained to fight, they have the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory,they know that if they lose the nation will be destroyed, that their offering in service is Duty, Honor, Country. Our soldiers and their families pray for peace but as Plato as said "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
We as citizens of the United States need to take a stand and make the sacrifice of our soldiers mean something. We need to stand up for our freedoms and not take them for granted any more. We need to understand where this current government is taking us and reverse the trend. We need to remember the words Duty, Honor and Country.

1 comment: