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General George S. Patton
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General George S. Patton, Jr. delivered a motivational speech to his British 6th Armored Division Army, in England. This was conducted on 31 May 1944 before they launched an offensive on Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Army in Berlin, Germany. During the 3rd Army Speech, General Patton insisted that the Operation Overlord had to bring positive results, and the soldiers had to do whatever it could take to get Hitler. He insisted that this Operation will mark the end of the World War II, a war that had been started by Hitler himself. Patton told his soldiers to work with a winning spirit, just like their war allies, the United States of America Military, did. He asserted that no country can dare provoke a military confrontation with the US Army. They feared the US because that will lead to nothing but a total self-destruction. General Patton put more emphasis on the victory to enable the British Army to share the glory of war with the US.
He stressed that bravery was of the key importance to victory and that no matter what happened, they could not surrender, they could not look back. The army had to be prepared mentally, and though the death was a must, the number of casualties was to be minimized for them to win the battle and the war. If that happened, Hitler would be dead. The General swore to shot Hitler by himself just to show how mad at him he was. Another target for the British Army was Japan, a country that represented terror in Asia. Both Germany and Japan had to go down and face the shame of defeat.
From this speech, it is obvious that, with determination and team work, success is guaranteed. The words of the General were prophetic. The British and American Armies won the war and occupied Germany and Okinawa, Japan, after they conquered the two enemies, in 1945. Through the speech, the history of the WWII is better understood; the motivation and human factor also can be studied.
The document, entitled ‘A Soldier’s Tale’, was written by Phil Guarnier, in 2008. Guarnier describes the story of his basketball coach, Michael Palermo, as a true soldier who fought in WWII, which ended in 1945. When standing at the Memorial Park in observation of the 11th day of the eleventh month in remembrance of the fallen WWII heroes, Mike Palermo sheds tears for his best friend Tony Nuncio, who died in the war. He met Tony, an Italian man at Fort Croft, South Carolina, when both were 19 years old, and they became as close as brothers. This was a military base where the two men and other recruits were trained in preparation for the Operation “Normandy Invasion”, which aimed at defeating Adolf Hitler. The war was chaotic, and when having fought for 72 hours in a row, and spent eleven days without food and water, in the harsh freezing cold of Omaha beach, the Germans overpowered Palermo and his fellow soldiers. They killed Tony Nuncio by a kidney shot and took Palermo into captivity for execution, the next morning. Fortunately, soon after the captivity, the allied forces bombed the Germans and rescued Palermo.
Though Sergeant Palermo retired from the military as a hero, the death of his youngest and only son due to leukemia was something he could not get over of. At 53, Palermo has coached Phil’s team for 13 years, and also participated in so many social building projects to help the youth. The story demonstrates the readers that one can get over all traumas, experienced in life, begin to live again, and help the society.
George Kennan, who worked for the US as a diplomat in the Soviet Union, wrote the document, ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct,’ in 1947. He reflected on the origins of the Cold War. Before the Cold War, Russia had mixed economic policies, these were capitalism and communism. Vladimir Lenin, the then Russian Leader, believed that for the country to move forward a revolution must take place to eradicate capitalism. He said that capitalism did no good to citizens but depressed the low class and favored the rich. The Russian politics were, hence, monopolized by dictatorship. The Communist Party was convinced that capitalists were self-centered and that anybody, who tried to advocate for capitalism, committed treason to the national interest. The leaders used brutal force to stop development of capitalism. Th politicians in Russia were very hypocritical. They claimed that socialism would create an equal chance for all citizens to access national resources. This was not true; Russia did this to create a balance of power with America. The document reveals the true reasons behind the beginning of the Cold War and is important in understanding the notion of the War.
Richard Hofstadter was sick of the political conspiracies in the US and wrote the document, called ‘Paranoid Style in American Politics’. For instance, the politicians took advantage of Free Masonry, and the Illuminati were founded back in 1776, as a way of luring voters during elections. The politicians benefited from the anti-Masonic movement that was activated in the late 1820’s. Masonry represented a secret movement against the government that was led by the Republican Party and acted as opposition to Democrats. This was a dangerous institution in America; in order to attract more attention, it was an agency of communism in the country. There were some other agencies that tried to spread communism through Supreme Court judges and other influential government organs. As stipulated, the Catholic Church was the mastermind of Masonry, forcing the emergency of protestant churches. There was so much conspiracy in the Catholic Church; therefore, it was regarded as one of the most immoral institutions in the world. This document is important to history as it gives the reader the origin of protestant churches, and why they came into existence.
Again by reading this document, one will understand how the governments not only in America, but the world as a whole operate.
Dwight David Eisenhower, the then US President, was issuing a Public Farewell Address, in 17 January 1961. In the middle of the Cold War between America and its rival, Russia, Eisenhower talked about his and his successor’s (John F Kennedy) plan to strengthen the military. He had a strong belief that the US and Russia were on the verge of the WWIII and that it could only be avoided by sophisticating the military, as a way of scaring potential enemies. However, the President stressed that national security and liberty must go together. Liberty must be considered in order to win the public affection. Though America was involved in the three out of four major wars in the past and incurred huge economic and social losses, America is still the greatest nation on earth, because of adherence to principles and ideal of liberty.
The President also pointed out that the blackboards had to be replaced with advanced electronic computers, to embrace effective investment in research and technology. This was claimed to boost the education standards in the US, to brighten both the military and civic future of the country.
With his last words to the gathered crowd of patriotic citizens, Eisenhower called people to put God first in everything they did, in order to achieve peace, justice and equality for all. The document is important in that it portrays the role of political leaders in promoting peace and harmony. When one compares this speech to the speeches by other American presidents, he/she will see that America has one major policy, to win a victory over its enemies.
This inaugural public address by John F Kennedy was given to American citizens when he was taking an oath into office on 20 January 1961. He promised that he would support liberty at all costs; help the underprivileged in America and other parts of the world. However, he asserted that the citizens and other countries in the world had to be self-reliant to enable mutualism with the US government. He declared that the war against communism was still on and promised to strengthen the allied bond. Liberty was another thing he pointed out and said it was to stay as the ideal of the nation. According to Kennedy, things, like human diseases, tyranny, poverty, and wars represented common enemies to America and called for people to work together to ensure the common enemy did not maneuver. He went ahead to say that wars were not the only solution to the political problems; diplomacy had to be the first option. The military, however, had to be strong and always ready to respond to any provocation by its enemies. The lessons, learned in this document, are that America poopularizes peace and does not hail any provocation by any country; secondly, America is a humanitarian country. This document tells people that communism has been and still is an enemy to America.
On 28 August 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed his fellow African American people, who were subjected to social segregation and discrimination. At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther aggressively repeated the words, ‘I Have a Dream!’ The subject matter of the speech is racism in America. He believed that though slavery ended in 1958 after the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed, the Black Americans, Negroes, were still under oppression. As he continued, he pointed out that, despite all the National riches of America, Negroes led a poor life, they lived in slums under poor hygienic and social conditions, poor medical care, poor education, police brutality, injustice, no employment, and the list was endless.
He was very cautious to say that not all Whites were racists, some were not. Therefore, the suffering in the southern states, like Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, and S. Carolina, areas dominated by Negroes, had to come to an end. This had to be achieved not by prayers or miracles, but by peaceful demonstrations. He called for perseverance because brutal physical pain from the police was forthcoming. The story contributes into understanding of how far America has come and, though it was colonized by Britain till 1776, undergone the pain of slavery it was the greatest nation on earth, at the moment. The speech reminds on times when slavery was rampant in the world and Africans were the potential target. His dream came true now that racism in America is almost over, and all opportunities are available for everybody. By having Barrack Obama as the President, it is evident that Martin Luther’s dream has come true.
‘A Time for Choosing’ was a memorable public speech by Ronald Wilson Reagan in support of Barry Goldwater, a Republican presidential nominee. On 27 October 1964, Reagan promised the American citizens a tough war on poverty, victory in Vietnam War, and direct aid to the underprivileged if Goldwater was elected. He emphasized that for America to have peace, it had to win the Vietnam War to show the world that the country was strong enough; this, in turn, was suppose to threaten the potential enemies, who would wish to start a war with the US. The problem of corruption in the government was also mentioned by Reagan when 66 shiploads of grains disappeared on their way to Austria.
He promised to protect wheat farmers, who were oppressed by the government. Though the price of wheat was high in the market, farmers were getting low pay for their product. He also assured that education standards, quality of housing would go up. Barry Coldwater was claimed by Reagan to be a true humanitarian and work hard to use diplomacy instead of war. From this document, one learns that America is all about wars and enemies and also corruption is there. History is appreciated on account of the war.
President of the US, Lyndon B Johnson, was giving out a speech ‘To Fulfill These Rights’ on 4 June 1965 at 6:35pm, at Howard University. He delivered his speech in front of the library after he was awarded an Honor degree of Dr. of Law. He started by mentioning Dr. James Nabrit and students. He thanked the institution for doubling the number of Black American students at the college. Johnson promised to balance opportunities for both Whites and Blacks. Secondly, Negroes would receive voting rights, and get better housing. Thirdly, he said that most Negroes come from weak single-parent families, and this was the source of their social misfortunes. He assured the Negroes that he would strengthen families on this account. On 6 August 1965, Johnson, as the President, signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Negroes were since the moment allowed to vote. From this, a lesson is learned that political leaders in the US do not just talk, they act. This helps to understand history better. Negroes were oppressed because they were not allowed to vote and the way they were living on slums was painful to mention. Now they have a reason to smile. They have passed a long way from having no rights to having an African American President.