Speeches by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

He was not one who had nothing to say :)

MacArthur's Speeches: "The Noblest Development of Mankind"

MacArthur's tenure as Army Chief of Staff from 1930 to 1935 was surely one of the most trying times in his life. Despite his vigorous efforts, the tides of economic depression and isolationism proved overwhelming, and under his stewardship the American armed forces reached all-time lows in strength. And as MacArthur repeatedly warned to anyone who would listen, allowing this to happen while autocratic, expansive regimes in Germany, Italy and Japan were gaining strength was doubly dangerous.

The following speech, delivered less than two months before the end of his tenure as Chief, contains what MacArthur biographer Geoffrey Perret calls "the Apostle's Creed of MacArthurism, the essence of his militant faith." Addressed to the annual reunion of MacArthur's Rainbow Division in Washington on July 14, 1935, the speech makes it perfectly clear that MacArthur could imagine no higher calling than his own.

Mr. President and gentlemen of the Rainbow Division, I thank you for the warmth of your greeting. It moves me deeply. It was with you I lived my greatest moments. It is of you I have my greatest memories.

It was seventeen years ago -- those days of old have vanished, tone and tint; they have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is a land where flowers of wondrous beauty and varied colors spring, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed into fuller bloom by the smiles of yesterday. Refrains no longer rise and fall from that land of used-to-be. We listen vainly, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melodies of days that are gone. Ghosts in olive drab and sky blue and German gray pass before our eyes; voices that have stolen away in the echoes from the battlefields no more ring out. The faint, far whisper of forgotten songs no longer floats through the air. Youth, strength, aspirations, struggles, triumphs, despairs, wide winds sweeping, beacons flashing across uncharted depths, movements, vividness, radiance, shadows, faint bugles sounding reveille, far drums beating, the long roll, the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry -- the still white crosses!

And tonight we are met to remember.

The shadows are lengthening. The division's birthdays are multiplying; we are growing old together. But the story which we commemorate helps us to grow old gracefully. That story is known to all of you. It needs no profuse panegyrics. It is the story of the American soldier of the World War. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many years ago and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's greatest figures -- not only in the era which witnessed his achievements but for all eyes and for all time. I regarded him as not only one of the greatest military figures but also as one of the most stainless; his name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen.

The world's estimate of him will be founded not upon any one battle or even series of battles; indeed, it is not upon the greatest fields of combat or the bloodiest that the recollections of future ages are riveted. The vast theaters of Asiatic conflict are already forgotten today. The slaughtered myriads of Genghis Khan lie in undistinguished graves. Hardly a pilgrim visits the scenes where on the fields of Chalons and Tours the destinies of civilization and Christendom were fixed by the skill of Aetius and the valor of Charles Martel.

The time indeed may come when the memory of the fields of Champagne and Picardy, of Verdun and the Argonne shall be dimmed by the obscurity of revolving years and recollected only as a shadow of ancient days.

But even then the enduring fortitude, the patriotic selfabnegation, and the unsurpassed military genius of the American soldier of the World War will stand forth in undimmed luster; in his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man; he has written his own history, and written it in red on his enemy's breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory I am filled with an emotion I cannot express. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful and disinterested patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and right. He belongs to the present -- to us -- by his glory, by his virtues, and by his achievements.

The memorials of character wrought by him can never be dimmed. He needs no statues or monuments; he has stamped himself in blazing flames upon the souls of his countrymen; he has carved his own statue in the hearts of his people; he has built his own monument in the memory of his compatriots.

The military code which he perpetuates has come down to us from even before the age of knighthood and chivalry. It 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. Its observance will uplift everyone who comes under its influence. The soldier, above all other men, is required to perform the highest act of religious teaching -- 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 instincts can take the place of the divine annunciation and spiritual uplift which will alone 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.

On such an occasion as this my thoughts go back to those men who went with us to their last charge. In memory's eye I can see them now -- forming, grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain of the foxhole, driving home to their objective and to the judgment seat of God. 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.

Never again for them staggering columns, bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn. Never again will they trudge ankle-deep through the mud on shell-shocked roads. Never again will they stop cursing their luck long enough to whistle through chapped lips a few bars as some clear voice raised the lilt of "Madelon." Never again ghostly trenches, with their maze of tunnels, drifts, pits, dugouts -- never again, gentlemen unafraid.

They have gone beyond the mists that blind us here and become part of that beautiful thing we call the Spirit of the Unknown Soldier. In chambered temples of silence the dust of their dauntless valor sleeps, waiting. Waiting in the chancery of Heaven the final reckoning of Judgment Day: "Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die."

Our country is rich and resourceful, populous and progressive, courageous to the full extent of propriety. It insists upon respect for its rights, and likewise gives full recognition to the rights of all others. It stands for peace, honesty, fairness, and friendship in its intercourse with foreign nations.

It has become a strong, influential, and leading factor in world affairs. It is destined to be even greater if our people are sufficiently wise to improve their manifold opportunities. If we are industrious, economical, absolutely fair in our treatment of each other, strictly loyal to our government we, the people, may expect to be prosperous and to remain secure in the enjoyment of all those benefits which this privileged land affords.

But so long as humanity is more or less governed by motives not in accord with the spirit of Christianity our country may be involved by those who believe they are more powerful. Whatever the ostensible reason advanced may be -- envy, cupidity, fancied wrong, or other unworthy impulse may direct them.

Every nation that has what is valuable is obligated to be prepared to defend against brutal attack or unjust effort to seize and appropriate. Even though a man be not inclined to guard his own interests, common decency requires him to furnish reasonable oversight and care to others who are weak and helpless. As a rule, they who preach by word or deed "peace at any price" are not possessed of anything worth having, and are oblivious to the interest of others including their own dependents.

The Lord Almighty, merciful and all-wise, does not absolutely protect those who unreasonably fail to contribute to their own safety, but He does help those who, to the limit of their understanding and ability, help themselves. This, my friends, is fundamental theology.

On looking back through the history of English-speaking people, it will be found in every instance that the most sacred principles of free government have been acquired, protected, and perpetuated through the embodied, armed strength of the peoples concerned. From Magna Charta to the present day there is little in our institutions worth having or worth perpetuating that has not been achieved for us by armed men. Trade, wealth, literature, and refinement cannot defend a state -- pacific habits do not insure peace nor immunity from national insult and national aggression.

Every nation that would preserve its tranquility, its riches, its independence, and its self-respect must keep alive its martial ardor and be at all times prepared to defend itself.

The United States is a pre-eminently Christian and conservative nation. It is far less militaristic than most nations. It is not especially open to the charge of imperialism. Yet one would fancy that Americans were the most brutally blood-thirsty people in the world to judge by the frantic efforts that are being made to disarm them both physically and morally. The public opinion of the United States is being submerged by a deluge of organizations whose activities to prevent war would be understandable were they distributed in some degree among the armed nations of Europe and Asia. The effect of all this unabashed and unsound propaganda is not so much to convert America to a holy horror of war as it is to confuse the public mind and lead to muddled thinking in international affairs.

A few intelligent groups who are vainly trying to present the true facts to the world are overwhelmed by the sentimentalist, the emotionalist, the alarmist, who merely befog the real issue, which is not the biological necessity of war but the biological character of war.

The springs of human conflict cannot be eradicated through institutions but only through the reform of the individual human being. And that is a task which has baffled the highest theologians for 2,000 years and more.

I often wonder how the future historian in the calmness of his study will analyze the civilization of the century recently closed. It was ushered in by the end of the Napoleonic Wars which devastated half of Europe. Then followed the Mexican War, and the American Civil War, the Crimean War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Boer War, the Opium Wars of England and China, the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War, and finally, the World War -- which, for ferocity and magnitude of losses, is unequaled in the history of humanity.

If he compares this record of human slaughter with the thirteenth century, when civilization was just emerging from the Dark Ages, when literature had its Dante; art, its Michelangelo and Gothic architecture; education, the establishment of the famous colleges and technical schools of Europe; medicine, the organization of hospital systems; politics and the foundation of Anglo-Saxon liberty, the Magna Charta -- the verdict cannot be that wars have been on the wane.

In the last 3,400 years only 268 -- less than 1 in 13 -- have been free from wars. No wonder that Plato, the wisest of all men, once exclaimed, "Only the dead have seen the end of war!" Every reasonable man knows that war is cruel and destructive. Yet, our civilization is such that a very little of the fever of war is sufficient to melt its veneer of kindliness. We all dream of the day when human conduct will be governed by the Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount. But as yet it is only a dream. No one desires peace as much as the soldier, for he must pay the greatest penalty in war. Our Army is maintained solely for the preservation of peace -- or for the restoration of peace after it has been lost by statesmen or by others.

Dionysius, the ancient thinker, twenty centuries ago uttered these words: It is a law of nature, common to all mankind, which time shall neither annul nor destroy, that those that have greater strength and power shall bear rule over those who have less." Unpleasant as the may be to hear, disagreeable as they may be to contemplate the history of the world bears ample testimony to their truth and wisdom. When looking over the past, or when looking over the world in its present form, there is but one trend of events to be discerned -- a constant change of tribes, clans, nations; the stronger ones replacing the others, the more vigorous ones pushing aside, absorbing covering with oblivion the weak and the worn-out.

From the dawn of history to the present day it has always been the militant aggressor taking the place of the unprepared. Where are the empires of old? Where is Egypt, once a state on a high plane of civilization, where a form of socialism prevailed and where the distribution of wealth was regulated? Her high organization did not protect her. Where are the empires of the East and the empires of the West which once were the shrines of wealth wisdom, and culture? Where are Babylon, Persia, Carthage. Rome, Byzantium? They all fell, never to rise again, annihilated at the hands of a more warlike and aggressive people: their cultures memories, their cities ruins.

Where are Peru and old Mexico? A handful of bold and crafty invaders, destroyed them, and with them their institutions, their independence their nationality, and their civilization.

And saddest of all, the downfall of Christian Byzantium. When Constantinople fell, that center of learning, pleasure, and wealth -- and all the weakness and corruption that goes with it -- a pall fell over Asia and southeastern Europe which has never been lifted. Wars have been fought these nearly five centuries that have had for at least one of their goals the bringing back under the Cross of that part of the world lost to a wild horde of a few thousand adventurers on horseback whom hunger and the unkind climate of their steppes forced to seek more fertile regions.

The thousand years of existence of the Byzantine Empire, its size, its religion, the wealth of its capital city were but added incentives and inducements to an impecunious conqueror. For wealth is no protection against aggression. It is no more an augury of military and defensive strength in a nation than it is an indication of health in an individual. Success in war depends upon men, not money. No nation has ever been subdued for lack of it. Indeed, nothing is more insolent or provocative or more apt to lead to a breach of the peace than undefended riches among armed men.

And each nation swept away was submerged by force of arms. Once each was strong and militant. Each rose by military prowess. Each fell through degeneracy of military capacity because of unpreparedness. The battlefield was the bed upon which they were born into this world, and the battlefield became the couch on which their worn-out bodies finally expired. Let us be prepared, lest we, too, perish.

MacArthur's Speeches: Radio Message from the Leyte Beachhead


MacArthur uttered these dramatic words to Filipinos just moments after he waded ashore at Red Beach, during the height of the fiercely contested Leyte invasion. With his feet finally back on Philipppine soil, and his pledge at last being fulfilled, MacArthur spoke with great emotion:


I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil -- soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed, to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of your people.

At my side is your President, Sergio Osmena, worthy successor of that great patriot, Manuel Quezon, with members of his cabinet. The seat of your government is now therefore firmly re- established on Philippine soil.

The hour of your redemption is here. Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom that challenges the best that is written on the pages of human history. I now call upon your supreme effort that the enemy may know from the temper of an aroused and outraged people within that he has a force there to contend with no less violent than is the force committed from without.

Rally to me. Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on. As the lines of battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of operations, rise and strike. Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths, strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His Name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!

Douglas MacArthur

MacArthur's Speeches: Surrender ceremony on the U.S.S. Missouri


Even his detractors -- and the defeated Japanese -- recognized the grace with which MacArthur presided over the surrender ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. A few minutes after the Japanese and other delegations were in place, MacArthur, entering with Nimitz and Halsey, strode to the microphone and uttered the following words:

We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate. Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the people of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume.

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.

After the surrender documents were signed and the Japanese delegation had departed, MacArthur went to another microphone and broadcast the following radio message to the world. Once again, note the ease with which the soldier made the transition to statesman:

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

As I look back upon the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that he has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. 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 peace 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. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace.... Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural development of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

MacArthur's Speeches: "I Shall Return."

This phrase -- among the more famous in American history -- is practically synonymous with Douglas MacArthur, known even to those who know nothing else about him. The last part of a simple statement to reporters shortly after his harrowing escape from Corregidor and arrival in Australia, it's pure MacArthur -- first-person, highly dramatic, and more political than meets the eye.

The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed from Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary objective of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return.

MacArthur's Speeches: "Old Soldiers Never Die..."


1951 had not been a good year for Douglas MacArthur: after almost losing a war in Korea it seemed he had already won, he was dismissed by President Truman, making headlines around the world. But for thirty-seven minutes on April 19, he held America in the palm of his hand. MacArthur's address before a joint session of Congress, one of the great moments in the early days of television, offered him a unique opportunity to tell his side of the story. He did not disappoint.

Critics and much of the public soon saw through the holes in his arguments. But his final words, drawing the curtain on an unparalleled military career, surely rank as one of the great exit lines in American history.

General MacArthur's Address to Congress

April 19, 1951

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker and Distinguished Members of the Congress:

I stand on this rostrum with a sense of deep humility and pride -- humility in the weight of those great architects of our history who have stood here before me, pride in the reflection that this home of legislative debate represent human liberty in the purest form yet devised.

Here are centered the hopes and aspirations and faith of the entire human race.

I do not stand here as advocate for any partisan cause, for the issues are fundamental and reach quite beyond the realm of partisan considerations. They must be resolved on the highest plane of national interest if our course is to prove sound and our future protected.

I trust, therefore, that you will do me the justice of receiving that which I have to say as solely expressing the considered viewpoint of a fellow American.

I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of life, with but one purpose in mind: to serve my country.

The issues are global, and so interlocked that to consider the problems of one sector oblivious to those of another is to court disaster for the whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the Gateway to Europe, it is no less true that Europe is the Gateway to Asia, and the broad influence of the one cannot fail to have its impact upon the other. There are those who claim our strength is inadequate to protect on both fronts, that we cannot divide our effort. I can think of no greater expression of defeatism.

If a potential enemy can divide his strength on two fronts, it is for us to counter his effort. The Communist threat is a global one.

Its successful advance in one sector threatens the destruction of every other sector. You can not appease or otherwise surrender to communism in Asia without simultaneously undermining our efforts to halt its advance in Europe.

Beyond pointing out these general truisms, I shall confine my discussion to the general areas of Asia. Before one may objectively assess the situation now existing there, he must comprehend something of Asia's past and the revolutionary changes which have marked her course up to, the present. Long exploited by the so-called colonial powers, with little opportunity to achieve any degree of social justice, individual dignity or a higher standard life such as guided our own noble administration in the Philippines, the people of Asia found their opportunity in the war just past to throw off the shackles of colonialism and now see the dawn of new opportunity and heretofore unfelt dignity, and the self-respect of political freedom.

Mustering half of the earth's population, and 60 percent of its natural resources these peoples are rapidly consolidating a new force, both moral and material, with which to raise the living standard and erect adaptations of the design of modern progress to their own distinct cultural environments.

Whether one adheres to the concept of colonialization or not, this is the direction of Asian progress and it may not be stopped. It is a corollary to the shift of the world economic frontiers as the whole epicenter of world affairs rotates back toward the area whence it started.

In this situation, it becomes vital that our own country orient its policies in consonance with this basic evolutionary condition rather than pursue a course blind to reality that the colonial era is now past and the Asian peoples covet the right to shape their own free destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding and support, not imperious direction, the dignity of equality and not the shame of subjugation.

Their pre-war standard of life, pitifully low, is infinitely lower now in the devastation left in war's wake. World ideologies play little part in Asian thinking and are little understood.

What the peoples strive for is the opportunity for a little more food in their stomachs, a little better clothing on their backs and a little firmer roof over their heads, and the realization of the normal nationalist urge for political freedom.

These political-social conditions have but an indirect bearing upon our own national security, but do form a backdrop to contemporary planning which must be thoughtfully considered if we are to avoid the pitfalls of unrealism.

Of more direct and immediately bearing upon our national security are the changes wrought in the strategic potential of the Pacific Ocean in the course of the past war.

Prior thereto the western strategic frontier of the United States lay on the literal line of the Americas, with an exposed island salient extending out through Hawaii, Midway and Guam to the Philippines. That salient proved not an outpost of strength but an avenue of weakness along which the enemy could and did attack. The Pacific was a potential area of, advance for any predatory force intent upon striking at the bordering land areas.

All this was changed by our Pacific victory, our strategic frontier then shifted to embrace the entire Pacific Ocean, which became a vast moat to protect us as long as we hold it. Indeed, it acts as a protective shield for all of the Americas and all free lands of the Pacific Ocean area, We control it to the shores of Asia by a chain of islands extending in an arc from the Aleutians to the Mariannas held by us and our free allies.

From this island chain we can dominate with sea and air power every Asiatic port from Vladivostok to Singapore -- with sea and air power every port, as I said, from Vladivostok to Singapore -- and prevent any hostile movement into the Pacific.

Any predatory attack from Asia must be an amphibious effort. No amphibious force can be successful without control of the sea lanes and the air over those lanes in its avenue of advance. With naval and air supremacy and modest ground elements to defend bases, any maj . or attack from continental Asia toward us or our friends in the Pacific would be doomed to failure.

Under such conditions, the Pacific no longer represents menacing avenues of approach for a prospective invader. It assumes, instead, the friendly aspect of a peaceful lake.

Our line of defense is a natural one and can be maintained with a minimum of military effort and expenses. It envisions no attack against anyone, nor does it provide the bastions essential for offensive operations, but properly maintained, would be an invincible defense against aggression.

The holding of this defense line in the western Pacific is entirely dependent upon holding all segments thereof, for any major breach of that line by an unfriendly power would render vulnerable to determine attack every other major segment. This is a military estimate as to which I have yet to find a military leader who will take exception.

For that reason, I have strongly recommended in the past. as a matter of military urgency, that under no circumstances must Formosa fall under Communist control. Such an eventuality would at once threaten the freedom of the Philippines and the loss of Japan and might well force our western frontier back to the coast of California Oregon and Washington.

To understand the changes which now appear upon the Chinese mainland, one must understand the changes in Chinese character and culture over the past 50 years. China up to 50 years ago was completely non-homogenous, being compartmented into groups divided against each other. The war-making tendency was almost non-existent as they still followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture.

At the turn of the century under the regime of Chang Tso Lin efforts toward greater homogenity produced the start of a nationalist urge. This was further and more successfully developed under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, but has been brought to its greatest fruition under the present regime to the point that it has now taken on the character of a united nationalism of increasingly dominant aggressive tendencies.

Through these past 50 years the Chinese people have thus become militarize in their concepts and in their ideals. They now constitute excellent soldiers, with competent staffs, and commanders. This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia, which, for its own purposes, is allied with Soviet Russia but which in its own concepts and methods has become aggressively imperialistic, with a lust for expansions and increased power normal to this type of imperialism.

There is little of the ideological concept either one way or another in the Chinese make-up. The standard of living is so low and the capital accumulation has been so thoroughly dissipated by war that the masses are desperate and eager to follow any leadership which seems to promise the alleviation of woeful stringencies.

I have from the beginning believed that the Chinese Communists' support of the North Koreans was the dominant one. Their interests are at present parallel with those of the Soviet, but I believe that the aggressiveness recently displayed not only in Korea but also in Indo-China arid Tibet and pointing potentially toward the South reflects predominantly the same lust for the expansion of power which has animated every would-be conqueror since the beginning of time.

The Japanese people since the war have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history, With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have from the ashes left in war's wake erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice.

Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust. That it may be counted upon to wield a profoundly beneficial influence over the course of events in Asia is attested by the magnificent manner in which the Japanese people have met the recent challenge of war, unrest and confusion surrounding them from the outside and checked communism within their own frontiers without the slightest slackening in their forward progress.

I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront, without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith.

I know of no nation more serene, orderly and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.

Of our former ward, the Philippines, we can look forward in confidence that the existing unrest will be corrected and a strong and healthy nation will grow in the longer aftermath of war's terrible destructiveness We must be patient and understanding and never fail them. As in our hour of need, they did not fail us.

A Christian nation, the Philippines stand as a mighty bulwark of Christianity in the Far East, and its capacity for high moral leadership in Asia is unlimited.

On Formosa the government of the Republic of China has had the opportunity to refute by action much of the malicious gossip which so undermined the strength of its leadership on the Chinese mainland. The Formosan people are receiving a just and enlightened administration with majority representation in the organs of government, and politically, economically and socially they appear to be advancing along sound and constructive lines,

With this brief insight into the surrounding area, I now turn to the Korean conflict.

While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision from a military standpoint, proved a sound one. As I said, it proved to be a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces.

This created a new war and an entirely new situation, a situation not contemplated when our forces were committed against the North Korean invaders; a situation which called for new decisions in the diplomatic sphere to permit the realistic adjustment of ail litary strategy. Such decisions have not been forthcoming.

While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old one.

Apart from the military need, as I saw It, to neutralize sanctuary protection given the enemy north of the Yalu, I felt that military necessity in the conduct of the war made necessary the intesification of our economic blockade against China, the imposition of a naval blockade against the China coast, removal of restrictions on air reconnaissance of China's coastal area and of Manchuria, removal of restrictions on the forces of the Republic of China on Formosa, with logistical support to contribution to-their effective operations against the Chinese mainland.

For entertaining these views, all professionally designed to support our forces in Korea and to bring hostilities to an end with the least possible delay and at a saving of countless American arid allied lives, I have been severely criticized in lay circles, principally abroad, despite my understanding that from a military standpoint the above views have been fully shared in the past by practically every military leader concerned with the Korean campaign, including our own Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I called for reinforcements, but was informed that reinforcements were riot available. I made clear that if not permitted to destroy the enemy built-up bases north of the Yalu, if not permitted to utilize the friendly Chinese Force of some 600,000 men on Formosa, if not permitted to blockade the China coast to prevent the Chinese Reds from getting succor from without, and if there was to be no hope of major reinforcements, the position of the command from the military standpoint forbade victory.

We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential.

I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution.

Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said in effect that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I know war as f ew other men now living know it, and nothing to me--and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.

Indeed, the Second Day of September, 1945, just following the surrender of the Japanese nation on the Battleship Missouri, I formally cautioned as follows:

"Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be 'by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out, this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all the material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh. "

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

In war there can be no substitute for victory.

There are some who for varying reasons would appease Red China. They are blind to history's clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier wars. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative. Why, my soldiers asked me, surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field? I could not answer.

Some, may say to avoid spread of the conflict into an all-out war with China, Others, to avoid Soviet intervention. Neither explanation seems valid, for China is already engaging with the maximum power It can commit, and the Soviet will not necessarily mesh its actions with our moves. Like a cobra, any new enemy, will more likely strike whenever it feels that the relativity of military and other potentialities is in its favor on a world-wide basis.

The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action was confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it Is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation.

Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: "Don't scuttle the Pacific.

I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. They have done their bust there, and I can report to you without reservation that they are splendid in every way.

It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrif ice of life. Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety. Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.

I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fullfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, 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.

Good Bye.

MacArthur's Speeches: "The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps."
and "Duty, Honor, Country"

MacArthur gave the last great speech of his public life on May 12, 1962, less than two years before he died. Beset by health problems, MacArthur had finally begun to show his age. But after accepting the coveted Sylvanus Thayer Award, he bid farewell to his beloved West Point with a heartfelt, emotional address. As one account described it, by the end of his speech "there were tears in the eyes of big strapping Cadets who wouldn't have shed one before a firing squad."

United States Military Academy

West Point, New York

May 12, 1962

General Westmoreland, General Groves, distinguished guests, and gentlemen of the Corps:

As I was leaving the hotel this morning, a doorman asked me, "Where are you bound for, General?" and when I replied, "West Point," he remarked, "Beautiful place, have you ever been there before?"

No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a tribute as this. [Thayer Award] Coming from a prof ession 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 meaning of this medallion. For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated in this way with so noble an ideal arouses a sense of pride and yet of humility which will be with me always.

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. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean. The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule. But these are some of the things they do. 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, nor 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; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future yet never neglect the past; to be serious yet never to take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. They give you a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease. They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman.

And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable, are they brave, are they capable of victory? Their story is known to all of you; it is the story of the American man-at-arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefield many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then as I regard him now - as one of the world's noblest figures, not only as one of the finest military characters but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty he gave - all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast. But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism; he belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom; he belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements. In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other he has drained deep the chalice of courage.

As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs, on many a weary march from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle-deep through the mire of shell-shocked roads, to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain; driving home to their objective, and, for many, to the judgement seat of God. I do not know the dignity of their birth but I do know the glory of their death. They died questioning, 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; always their blood and sweat and tears as we sought the way and the light and the truth.

And 20 years after, on the other side of the globe, again the filth of murky foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts; those boiling suns of relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms; the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation from those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropical disease, the horror of stricken areas of war; their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory - always victory. Always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men reverently following your password of Duty - Honor - Country.

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.

You now face a new world - a world of change. The thrust into outer space of the satellite, spheres and missiles marked the beginning of another epoch in the long story of mankind - the chapter of the space age. In the five or more billions of years the scientists tell us it has taken to form the earth, in the three or more billion years of development of the human race, there has never been a greater, a more abrupt or staggering evolution. We deal now not with things of this world alone, but with the illimitable distances and as yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe. We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier. We speak in strange terms: of harnessing the cosmic energy; of making winds and tides work for us; of creating unheard synthetic materials to supplement or even replace our old standard basics; of purifying sea water for our drink; of mining ocean floors for new fields of wealth and food; of disease preventatives to expand life into the hundred of years; of controlling the weather for a more equitable distribution of heat and cold, of rain and shine; of space ships to the moon; of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil populations; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time.

And through all this welter of change and development, your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable - it is to win our wars. Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other public purposes, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small, will find others for their accomplishment; but you are the ones who are trained to fight: 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 warguardian, as its lifeguard from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiator 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 thorough 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 ten-fold beacon in the night - Duty - Honor - Country.

You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of def ense. 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 war mongers. 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."

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished tone and tint; they have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears, and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille,of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.

But in the evening of my memory, always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes Duty - Honor - Country.

Today marks my final roll call with you, but I want you to know that when I cross the river my last conscious thoughts will be-of
The Corps, and The Corps, and The Corps.

I bid you farewell.


Great stuff from various sources on the web :)

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