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Friday, September 5, 2008

Great Ronald Reagan Speech

This Recording gives us a collection of their Top 10 Speeches of all-time. Number one for them is Ronald Reagan's 1984 speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of D-Day. You can here the speech here. As you know, Shambollocks does not abide by the Cult of Reagan. We believe the man was one hell of a motivator, but a mighty poor executive. One of my earliest political memories is my grandmother cursing Ronnie under her breath during one of his State of the Unions.

No matter my severe ideological differences with the man, Reagan could speak. No doubt the man was one of the best orators I've ever heard. I do not distinctly remember this speech, but I do recall the story of these Army Rangers, the first on the beach that day. I remain enthralled by the story of these mens' personal bravery. Reagan had a softball (this was no speech calling for social change or justice), but he nailed this softball all the way to the gates of the Kremlin as you shall hear.

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. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

Listening to this a bit ago, I myself got a little verklempt. Reagan not only tells this profound story, but he tells it within the context of a plea to end the Cold War. We can spend a good 100,000 words debating the sincerity of this plea, but you can't be skeptical of Reagan's words that day.

Very impressive. Especially in light of a 'War on Terror' which expects so little sacrifice, and is treated with such indifference, from civilian Americans

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