Duty, Honor, Country

Excerpts from a 1962 speech by General Douglas MacArthur

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be…The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong.

The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training — sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.

However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.

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-guardian, as its lifeguard from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiator in the arena of battle.

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