Our best and our brightest who provide us all the sturdiest blanket of freedom any nation's citizenry could ever know.
- Number Four. Don't let the pessimistic television talking heads, the high-brow newspaper writers, hollywood idiots, or any other faction of the blame-America first crowd get you down. (Applause.) I'm speaking here of the latte biscotti crowd. They are simple background chatter, men, and they will always exist on the periphery of any endeavor that requires selfless service or loyalty. They are not worthy of your concern. And, truth be told, in the pit of their fickle, cowardly hearts they wish they could be just like you. The intestinal fortitude that is a part of your fabric is something that they covet but will never know.
Fifth. I for one will never, ever apologize for being an American, and don't you ever feel that you have to. (Applause.) We're not perfect, but I can think of no better place on earth. We didn't become the great country we are by accident. We earned it. And while we were at it we kept and continue to keep a large portion of the world free. Just ask the veterans that are here today. American blood and sacrifice is the indisputable part of the world equation. We keep a large portion of the world free, and no matter what disaster strikes — tsunamis, floods, earthquakes — we're the ones that show up first to help: an American aircraft carrier, American Soldiers, American Marines, Air Force transport planes flying in supplies, and even local American church groups. More people in this world are trying to come to our shores than any other county. We remain the beacon of hope for many. And, God willing, it will always be so. We're number one. Don't ever apologize for it, just be damned proud of it. (Applause.)
– Lieutenant Colonel Randolph C. White, Jr.,
United States Army,
Commander, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment,speech at training graduation ceremony for
the Infantrymen of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry,
and of Company C, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry,
Fort Benning, Georgia,
April 21, 2006.
(Blackfive, including prepared text
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