Douglas Macarthur Speech



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Douglas MacArthur speeches were given at various times during war and peace in America and around the world. Three of those speeches are:

  • The Japanese Surrender Speech; September 2, 1945: This General Douglas MacArthur speech was given at the conclusion of the Surrender Ceremony ending World War II. As the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers, General MacArthur signed the agreement along with Shigemitsu for the civil government of Japan and General Umezu for the Japanese military. Some of the major quotes from this speech are:

"Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won."

"I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep water of the Pacific which marked the way."

"We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peach what we won in war."

"A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization."

General Douglas MacArthur's speech was a moving tribute to those whose lives had been lost during the war, as well as a vision of future peaceful relationships between countries throughout the world.

  • Farewell Speech to Congress; April 19, 1951: This General Douglas MacArthur speech was delivered to a joint session of Congress following his firing as Commander of the United Nations Forces in Korea during the Korean War. A week before this speech, President Harry Truman had relieved MacArthur from his command in Korea for insubordination based on their differing views of how the war should be handled. General MacArthur had publicly challenged Truman's directives and leadership through promoting MacArthur's own plan to attack China, a move that Truman was afraid would widen the scope of the war. The most memorable quote from General MacArthur's speech included a line taken from a song he and others sang during his days at West Point. It goes: "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." To which he added, "I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty."
  • Duty, Honor, Glory Speech; May 12, 1962: General Douglas MacArthur's speech to the cadets in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was given on the occasion of his being presented the Sylvanus Thayer Award, named for a past superintendent of the Academy. This Douglas MacArthur speech is recognized as a tribute to the characteristics of great soldiers, full of wisdom and advice being shared by one of the greatest and most decorated military persons in history, a career that spanned almost fifty years of active service. General MacArthur maintained a deep respect for West Point his entire life. The notable part of this General Douglas MacArthur speech has been used repeatedly in military ceremonies, in times of war and peace, and by many presidents when America has faced some crisis:

"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."