Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Long Gray Line Has Never Failed Us: General MacArthur Speaks on Armed Forces Day

"On May 12, 1962, Five Star General Douglas MacArthur [delivered] a remarkable speech to the corps of cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York...

"MacArthur was 82 years old when he gave the speech.

"He spoke without notes for 34 minutes from the "poop deck" in front of the 2,100+ cadets

To hear General MacArthur's own delivery of this speech in a taped recording, go here:

Following is only a small portion from the midpoint of the speech. To read it in its entirety go to

"...Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country.

"Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men's minds. But serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation's war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

"Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown
too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

"These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.

"You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

"The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

"This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." .....
~ General Douglas MacArthur

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

~Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Pictured: Top: Graduating Platoon 1005, Parris Island, January, 2004, Marine Ethan Duncan Arguello, Midland, Tx, Meritorious PFC. Bottom: 3rd LAR, Delta Company, 2nd Platoon, including Lance Cpl Ethan D Arguello, pays its respects to fallen comrades Kenyon, Galvez, and Newman, killed in action in Iraq, August 2006. Photo by Staff Sgt Jim Goodwin.

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