Gen. Douglas MacArthur
'Duty, Honor, Country"
"No human being could fail to be deeply moved
by such a tribute as this [Thayer
Award]. Coming from a profession I have served so long, and a people I have
loved so well, it fills me with an emotion I cannot express."
"But this award is not intended primarily to honor a personality, but to
symbolize a great moral code -- the code of conduct and chivalry of those who
guard this beloved land of culture and ancient descent. That is the animation of
this medallion. For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics
of the American soldier."
"Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate
what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little
cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."
"They build your basic character. They mold you for
your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense."
"They make you strong enough to know when you are
weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid."
"They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest
failure, but humble and gentle in success; 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 yourself before you seek to master others."
"I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory
of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and
on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always, for them: Duty, Honor, Country."
Text and Audio of Address