Edited compilation of speeches with a military theme made by Ronald Reagan during his Presidency. - Vetrans
June 17, 1982 Excerpt from Remarks in New York, New York, Before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Devoted to Disarmament. Ronald Reagan stresses the importance of deterring conflict worldwide and his commitment to it. "The United States has fought four wars in my lifetime. In each, we struggled to defend freedom and democracy. We were never the aggressors. America's strength and, yes, her military power have been a force for peace, not conquest; for democracy, not despotism; for freedom, not tyranny. Watching, as I have, succeeding generations of American youth bleed their lives onto far-flung battlefields to protect our ideals and secure the rule of law, I have known how important it is to deter conflict. But since coming to the Presidency, the enormity of the responsibility of this office has made my commitment even deeper."
November 18, 1981 Excerpt from Remarks to Members of the National Press Club on Arms Reduction and Nuclear Weapons. Ronald Reagan talks about the significance of the United States' involvement in WWI and WWII. "Twice in my lifetime, I have seen the peoples of Europe plunged into the tragedy of war. Twice in my lifetime, Europe has suffered destruction and military occupation in wars that statesmen proved powerless to prevent, soldiers unable to contain, and ordinary citizens unable to escape. And twice in my lifetime, young Americans have bled their lives into the soil of those battlefields not to enrich or enlarge our domain, but to restore the peace and independence of our friends and Allies. All of us who lived through those troubled times share a common resolve that they must never come again."
June 6, 1984 Excerpt from Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-day. Pointe du Hoc, France. Reagan praises the sacrifices made by the Allied soldiers. Patriotism. C/A of veterans sitting and listening to Reagan. "Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love. The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge - and pray God we have not lost it - that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest." edt "Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.'' Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died."
MSs of Allied cemetery in Normady, France, small flags of nationality (America, France, etc.) flying at each headstone; MSs of Ron and NANCY Reagan walking through cemetery, placing flowers; CU grave of Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.; VO of Ron talking about the sacrifices made by the soldiers. "Where do we fight? Where do we find such men and the answer came almost as quickly as I asked the question. Where we always found them in this country. On the farms, the shops, the stores and the offices. They are just the products of the free st society the world has ever known. "
September 14, 1986 Excerpt from Address to the Nation on the Campaign Against Drug Abuse. Ronald Reagan sentimentalizes America & the sacrifices made by our armed forces. "The freedom that so many seek in our land has not been preserved without a price. Nancy and I shared that remembrance 2 years ago at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. In the still of that June afternoon, we walked together among the soldiers of freedom, past the hundreds of white markers which are monuments to courage and memorials to sacrifice. Too many of these and other such graves are the final resting places of teenagers who became men in the roar of battle. Look what they gave to us who live. Never would they see another sunlit day glistening off a lake or river back home or miles of corn pushing up against the open sky of our plains. The pristine air of our mountains and the driving energy of our cities are theirs no more. Nor would they ever again be a son to their parents or a father to their own children. They did this for you, for me, for a new generation to carry our democratic experiment proudly forward. Well, that's something I think we're obliged to honor, because what they did for us means that we owe as a simple act of civic stewardship to use our freedom wisely for the common good."
November 11, 1985 Excerpt from Remarks at the Veterans Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Ronald Reagan honors who served our country, prosaically of course. Among those seated behind the President is Sen. BOB DOLE. "It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives - the one they were living and the one they would have lived."