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Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation - not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago.
Every dollar that we send in State Department aid or humanitarian aid that saves us from having to get involved with very expensive military actions is a good investment. And frankly, helping Israel fight terrorism in the Middle East is much cheaper than us fighting it here on our shores.
If our nation goes over a financial Niagara, we won't have much strength and, eventually, we won't have peace. We are currently borrowing the entire defense budget from foreign investors. Within a few years, we will be spending more on interest payments than on national security. That is not, as our military friends say, a 'robust strategy.'
In American military cemeteries all over the world, seemingly endless rows of whitened grave markers stand largely unvisited and in silence. The gardeners tend the lawns, one section at a time. Even at the famous sites, tourism is inconstant.
The decision to use the atom bomb on Japanese cities, and the consequent buildup of enormous nuclear arsenals, was made by governments, on the basis of political and military perceptions.
All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General.
On a Tuesday, September 11th, 1973, we had the military coup in Chile that forced me to leave my country eventually. And then, on a Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, we had the terrorist attack in the United States.
Military dictatorship is born from the power of the gun, and so it undermines the concept of the rule of law and gives birth to a culture of might, a culture of weapons, violence and intolerance.
One of the things that makes our military the best in the world is the certain knowledge of each soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine that they can always count on their comrades should they need help - that they will never be abandoned.
The male role models I had all seemed to have been in the military. My father served in the army. My uncle was in the Marine Corps. Both of my grandfathers served in WWII. There weren't any career soldiers in my family, but when I was young it seemed like a way of arriving at adulthood.
In early 1961 a new president, John F. Kennedy, was told by military leaders and civilian officials that the Kingdom of Laos - of no conceivable strategic importance to the U.S. - required the presence of American troops and perhaps even tactical nuclear weapons. Why? Because if Laos fell, Asia would go red from Thailand to Indonesia.
When you decide to get involved in a military operation in a place like Syria, you've got to be prepared, as we learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, to become the government, and I'm not sure any country, either the United States or I don't hear of anyone else, who's willing to take on that responsibility.
The question is not whether Tibet should be independent but the extent of the autonomy that it is allowed. Tibet has been firmly ensconced as part of the Chinese empire since the Qing dynasty's military intervention in Tibet in the early 18th century.
When I see someone in a military uniform I make it a point to approach them, shake their hand and say five words... 'thank you for your service.' 'Stars Earn Stripes' is a high energy, fun, action show, but at its heart it is all about those five words.
From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s - the era of military dictatorship when South Korea was rebuilding itself from a postwar economic basket case to a humming, modern nation - military schools were the track of choice for ambitious young men.
One of the things I learned in the military is sometimes you don't know what mistakes you make for a long time. But as you go through a campaign, there's lots of decision points you make, and you don't know whether those are gonna be the right decision points or not.
Because of the terrorist threat, the FBI and CIA have become as important as the military in preserving our freedom. Yet while thanking our military is standard practice in American life, no one thinks of thanking the FBI, the CIA, or the rest of the intelligence community for keeping us safe since 9/11.
Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.
One of the lessons learned during the Vietnam War was that the depiction of wounded soldiers, of coffins stacked higher than their living guards, had a negative effect on the viewing public. The military in Iraq specifically banned the photographing of wounded soldiers and coffins, thus sanitizing this terrible and bloody conflict.
Walter Dean Myers
The sanctity of our battlefields, monuments, and veterans institutions is of utmost importance to preserve military history and pay respect to those who fought.
I'm very much in the trenches, and I don't live in the lap of luxury. I come from a working-class military family. We watch the news and read the paper and vote, so there's always something to be upset about. I always have a certain amount of angst in my back pocket.
America should meet its obligations in the form of Social Security, Medicare, our ability to pay our military, legally binding legislation that allows unemployment compensation, the judiciary, the federal court system, the federal prison system, all those kinds of things have to be paid for.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Leonardo da Vinci
Image of the Moment
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
H. L. Mencken
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