FRANKS PHILA 19 MARCH SPEECH AS GIVEN 2908 WORDS

REMARKS GEN (RET) FREDERICK M. FRANKS, JR. WEST POINT SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA 19 MARCH 2011

[AMENITIES] THANK YOU BILL FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP OF THIS WEST POINT SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA RECOGNIZED AGAIN THIS YEAR BY OUR AOG AS A DISTINGUISHED SOCIETY FOR ALL YOU DO FOR OUR ALMA MATER, REACHING OUT TO MAKE SURE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY, AND FOR WHAT YOU DO FOR OUR MAGNIFICENT SOLDIERS SERVING TODAY IN THIS WAR. THANKS TO MY CLASSMATE TOM LEO FOR HIS FOR GENEROUS INTRODUCTION, AND FOR HIS WELL-DESERVED PAUL PRYOR AWARD, AND AND FOR HIS OWN COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE IN GETTING BACK UP AGAIN AND GOING ON. TO MY MY FELLOW BAND OF BROTHERS CLASSMATES AND WIVES FROM THE GREAT CLASS OF 1959 WHO HAVE COME FROM AS FAR AWAY AS WILLIAMSBURG, RICHMOND, AND ALEXANDRIA, VA THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND THE SPECIAL NIGHT IT IS AT OUR OWN 1959 TABLE.

HONORED GUESTS. HON WOODY GOLDBERG (HOME TOWN OF READING). MG WES CRAIG, GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR APPOINTMENT TO BE PA ADJUTANT GENERAL. WOUNDED WARRIORS. CADETS OF CLASS 2014 AND CADET NICK WHEELER CLASS 2011 GIVING UP YOUR LAST NIGHT OF SPRING BREAK LEAVE. THANK YOU. MEMBERS OF THE PA NATIONAL GUARD AND 28TH DIVISION. FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE LONG GRAY LINE. FELLOW PENNSYLVANIANS. FELLOW AMERICANS.

I AM TRULY HONORED AND HUMBLED TO RECEIVE THIS DISTINGUISHED AWARD. I AM MOVED KNOWING AS YOU DO THAT ON OUR ARMY FLAG ARE THE WORDS. ´THIS WE·LL DEFENDµ TRACED ALL THE WAY BACK TO OUR BEGINNINGS RIGHT HERE IN PHILADELPHIA. I ACCEPT IT ON BEHALF OF ALL THOSE GREAT AMERICANS IT WAS MY PRIVILEGE TO SERVE WITH FOR ALMOST 35 AND A HALF YEARS AND IN TWO WARS IN

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THE UNITED STATES ARMY. I KNEW GENERAL AL HAIG AS A MAN OF ENORMOUS COURAGE, INTELLECT, SENSE OF DUTY, AND ROLE MODEL FOR US ALL IN HONORABLE SERVICE TO OUR NATION.

AND I AM DOUBLY HUMBLED THAT I AM HERE IN MY HOME STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, HAVING GROWN UP JUST ABOUT 60 MILES WEST OF HERE IN WEST LAWN, JUST OUTSIDE OF READING. IT IS WHERE IN MY WILSON HIGH SCHOOL, AT HOME WITH MY MOM AND DAD, AND IN OUR COMMUNITY I GOT A ROCK SOLID START IN LIFE, AND WHERE I MET MY FUTURE WIFE NOW OF ALMOST 52 YEARS, DENISE. THERE IS AN OLD PENNSYLVANIA ¶DUTCH· SAYING, ´YOU GET TOO SOON OLD AND TOO LATE SMART.µ I BELIEVE I WAS AN EXCEPTION TO THAT WHEN IT CAME TO ASKING DENISE TO MARRY ME.I HAVE INDEED BEEN BLESSED WITH DENISE AS MY LIFE·S PARTNER AND ARMY WIFE.

IN THOSE DAYS GROWING UP IN WEST LAWN, WE WERE IN THE CONSTANT PRESENCE OF WWII VETERANS, WHO WERE OUR LEADERS IN OUR SCHOOLS AND IN OUR COMMUNITIES. THEY WERE SO GENUINELY AUTHENTIC WITH THEIR HUMILITY, SELFLESSNESS, AND QUIET COURAGE TO TACKLE ANYTHING AT HOME AND IN WAR, THAT THEY INSPIRED THIS YOUNG MAN TO WANT TO GO EARN THE RIGHT TO LEAD PEOPLE LIKE THAT. THE BEST PLACE I KNEW OF WAS WEST POINT AND SO AFTER 4 YEARS THERE BEGAN MY ARMY JOURNEY AS A PROFESSIONAL WITH THE GREAT CLASS OF 1959 ON 3 JUNE.

YET, AS WITH MOST OF US MY LIFE WAS NOT A STRAIGHT LINE. MY JOURNEY WAS INTERRUPTED IN MAY 1970 JUST OUT SIDE SNOUL, CAMBODIA IN A COMBAT ACTION ON 5 MAY 1970 WHEN I WAS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED SERVING IN THE 2D SQUADRON, 11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT. I EVENTUALLY CAME HOME TO PENNSYLVANIA. 33 MILES WEST AND NORTHWEST OF THIS UNION LEAGUE IS NOW VALLEY FORGE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE ON THE SITE WHERE 40 YEARS AGO WAS VALLEY FORGE GENERAL HOSPITAL. IT WAS THERE, IN MY HOME STATE, AMONG MY FELLOW SOLDIERS FROM VIETNAM, WITH THE HEALING HELP OF ARMY DOCTORS, NURSES AND

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MEDICS, AND WITH THE CONTINUING LOVE OF MY WIFE WHO DROVE AN HOUR EACH WAY EVERY DAY TO BE WITH ME, AND OUR DAUGHTER MARGIE, THAT I WAS REBORN AS A SOLDIER. THAT I WAS PERMITTED TO REMAIN ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE US ARMY AFTER HAVING MY LEFT LEG AMPUTATED BELOW THE KNEE THERE AT VALLEY FORGE ON 18 JANUARY 1971 WAS LIFE·S GREAT PRIVILEGE. MY CONSTANT COMPANION THEN AS NOW WAS DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.

AND SO FOR ME TO RETURN TO THIS CITY, THIS BIRTHPLACE OF OUR FREEDOMS IN THAT FOUNDING DOCUMENT OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, INSPIRED BY THOSE SIGNERS WHO PLEDGED THEIR LIVES, FORTUNES, AND SACRED HONOR IS INDEED FULL OF EMOTION AND AN ENORMOUS SENSE OF GRATITUDE.

WE ARE HERE TONIGHT TO CELEBRATE AND COMMEMORATE THE FOUNDING OF OUR ALMA MATER ON 16 MARCH 1802. SINCE WE REMAIN AT WAR NOW INTO OUR TENTH YEAR YEAR, AND ARE IN WHAT THE US ARMY CALLS AN ERA OF PERSISTENT CONFLICT, AND BECAUSE THE MISSION OF OUR ALMA MATER CONTINUES TO BE DEVELOPING THEN GRADUATING AND COMMISSIONING COMPETENT LEADERS OF CHARACTER, I THOUGHT I WOULD TALK ABOUT RESILIENT LEADERS OF CHARACTER, ABOUT FAITHFULNESS TO DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY WE ALL SHARE AND OUR ARMY SHARES AS WE SEE EVERY DAY IN OUR SOLDIERS.

THOSE EARLY AMERICANS, OUR NATION·S FIRST LEADERS OF CHARACTER, SEIZED WITH THE NOBLE CAUSE OF INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS, AND WILLING TO FIGHT TO GAIN AND WIN THAT FREEDOM, BEGAN THAT EARLY JOURNEY HERE IN PHILADELPHIA. THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR WAS ALSO ANYTHING BUT A STRAIGHT LINE TO WINNING THAT FREEDOM NOR WAS IT A STRAIGHT LINE FOR THEIR CONTINENTAL ARMY COMMANDER GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON. WHEN WASHINGTON STOOD ON THE WEST BANK OF THE DELAWARE RIVER NOT TOO FAR FROM HERE THAT CHRISTMAS NIGHT 1776 HIS ARMY HAD BEEN BADLY BEATEN ACROSS NEW YORK CITY AND NEW JERSEY. THEY FACED FINAL DEFEAT IN THE SPRING OF 1777 BY A SUPERIOR BRITISHHESSIAN FORCE JUST ACROSS THE RIVER AND THE END OF THEIR NOBLE CAUSE. YET,

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NEITHER WASHINGTON NOR HIS LEADERSHIP, NOR HIS SOLDIERS, WERE READY TO QUIT, EVEN THOUGHT THEIR ENLISTMENTS RAN OUT ON 31 DECEMBER, THAT THEY HAD NO WINTER CLOTHING, AND THAT THEY WERE VASTLY OUTNUMBERED. TRUE TO THEIR ETHOS THEN, AND EXTENDING TO TODAY, THEY DID NOT QUIT, THEY FOUND THE STRENGTH OF WILL, THEY HAD THE COMPETENCE TO CROSS A MAJOR RIVER IN THE WINTER WITH 18 CANNONS AND 2400 SOLDIERS AND WON A GREAT VICTORY, SAVING THE REVOLUTIONARY CAUSE. THEN A WEEK LATER THEY DID IT AGAIN AT PRINCETON, AFTER RE-CROSSING THE DELAWARE FOLLOWING THE INITIATIVE OF BG JOHN CADWALADER AND HIS PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATORS (THE ROOTS OF OUR PRESENT DAY PA NATIONAL GUARD) WHO HAD CROSSED THE RIVER FOLLOWING AN EARLIER ORDER, AND REPORTED TO WASHINGTON THERE WAS LIGHT RESISTANCE. NO QUIT. RESILIENT AMERICANS RIGHT FROM OUR VERY BEGINNINGS.

THAT NO QUIT IS IN OUR NATIONAL DNA.

IN 2008-2009 AT WEST POINT WE IN THE SIMON CENTER BEGAN A CORE COURSE FOR ALL FIRSTIES, MX 400. IT IS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE TYING TOGETHER ALL THE VARIOUS PARTS OF THE CADET EXPERIENCE TO ASSIST FIRSTIES TO FORM THEIR OWN SELF CONCEPT OF OFFICERSHIP, THEIR INITIAL IDENTITY AS AN OFFICER SO THEY CAN BETTER FULFILL THE TRUST PLACED IN THEM IN COMMANDING AND LEADING US ARMY SOLDIERS IN COMBAT. THE FIRST TEN LESSONS OF THAT COURSE ARE BATTLE COMMAND THE CORE DUTY OF OFFICERS. THE CASE STUDY WE USE IS WASHINGTON·S CROSSING BECAUSE RIGHT FROM OUR BEGINNINGS IT ILLUSTRATES THOSE ENDURING QUALITIES OF BATTLE COMMAND AND NO QUIT RESILIENCE OF OUR LEADERS AND SOLDIERS.

IT SEEMS TO ME EACH OF US, AS WELL AS OUR ARMY AND OUR NATION, IN THESE TIMES AND IN OUR OWN LIVES HAS THOSE MOMENTS OF CHALLENGES OF SOME MAGNITUDE ALONG A DELAWARE OR AT A VALLEY FORGE THAT CALL FOR THAT RESILIENCE. I KNOW I DID.

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THAT RESILIENCE IN LEADERS OF CHARACTER, OUR ALMA MATER, OUR INSPIRING SOLDIERS OF TODAY, AND OUR GREAT NATION. THAT ABILITY, WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH IN OUR OWN LIVES OR IN OUR MISSIONS, WHEN WE HAVE THOSE DELAWARE RIVER OR VALLEY FORGE TIMES, TO REACH INSIDE OF US TO FIND THAT STEEL THAT IS THERE IN ALL OF US, TO GRIP HANDS WITH OUR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, CLASSMATES, FELLOW SOLDIERS, AND FELLOW AMERICANS, THEN TO GET BACK UP AGAIN, AND GO ON, STRONGER THAN BEFORE.

I DO BELIEVE WEST POINT, IN DEMANDING FAITHFULNESS TO DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY, RIGHT FROM OUR VERY FIRST DAY AT TROPHY POINT, REPRESENTS THAT RESILIENCE QUALITY MORE THAN ANY OTHER, FOR EACH OTHER, FOR OUR ARMY AND ARMED FORCES, AND FOR OUR NATION.

NOW THOSE WWII VETERANS I GREW UP AROUND AND WHO INSPIRED THIS YOUNG MAN, CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THE GREATEST GENERATION. WELL, IN A WAY THIS CURRENT GENERATION OF SOLDIERS AND MARINES AND ALL THOSE WHO SERVE, REMINDS ME OF THEM IN SO MANY WAYS, BUT IN SO MANY OTHER WAYS THIS GENERATION IS UNIQUE IN THEIR EXTRAORDINARY AND SELFLESS SERVICE TO OUR NATION IN NOW THIS TENTH YEAR OF WAR. SO PERMIT ME TO CALL THEM, TO INCLUDE OF COURSE THOSE WOUNDED WARRIORS WHO WE ARE HONORED TO BE WITH TONIGHT, THE NEXT GREATEST GENERATION.

WHY WOULD I SAY THAT? AS A LIFE-LONG MEMBER OF THE PROFESSION ARMS, WHO, AS MANY OF YOU, HAS SEEN WAR IN A VARIETY OF WAYS FROM COUNTER INSURGENCY TO MOUNTED ARMORED COMBAT, AND WHO HAS BEEN SO VERY FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE SINCE ACTIVE DUTY RETIREMENT TO CONTINUE TO TEACH, MENTOR, AND WRITE ABOUT OUR PROFESSION, I AM INSPIRED EVERY DAY BY WHAT THIS GREATEST GENERATION, BY WHAT THEY AND THEIR SOLDIERS ARE DOING FOR OUR NATION NOW IN THE TENTH YEAR OF WAR.

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WHEN THINGS GOT REALLY TOUGH IN THE MISSION IN IRAQ, AROUND 2005-2006, SOLDIERS AND MARINES AND THEIR BATTLE COMMANDERS STAYED WITH IT, TRUE TO THEIR ETHOS, ´I WILL NEVER QUITµ. ´I WILL NEVER LEAVE A FALLEN COMRADE.µ THEY WENT BACK, AND THEN WENT BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN. THEY SACRIFICED. THEY DID NOT QUIT EVEN WHEN OTHERS DID. THEY TAUGHT THEMSELVES HOW TO FIGHT AN INSURGENCY WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY GROWING AN IRAQI SECURITY FORCE, PROMOTING LOCAL AND NATIONAL GOVERNANCE AND PROMOTING THE PUBLIC GOOD LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY IN THE ECONOMY AND IN PUBLIC WORKS. WHEN FIGHTING WAS CALLED FOR THEY DID THAT. WHEN NATION CREATING AND BUILDING WAS CALLED FOR, THEY DID THAT. MOST OF THE TIME THEY WERE DOING BOTH, ALTERNATIVELY AND SIMULTANEOUSLY. AND THEY ARE STILL AT IT WITH INTREPID COURAGE, NO QUIT WILL, AND YES, RESULTS, IN IRAQ IN NEW DAWN, AND NOW INCREASINGLY IN AFGHANISTAN, WHERE POSITIVE IF HOWEVER FRAGILE AND REVERSIBLE RESULTS GAINED BY SOLDIERS AND MARINES AS GENERAL DAVE PETRAEUS TESTIFIED THIS WEEK BEFORE CONGRESS, ARE ALSO EMERGING.

AND YES, ALL THAT AT PAINFUL SACRIFICE TO THEM AND TO THEIR FAMILIES IN CONDITIONS AS TOUGH AS ANY OUR NATION HAS EVER SENT ITS ARMY AND MARINE CORPS INTO. EXTRAORDINARY PERSONAL COURAGE, SELFLESSNESS, NO QUIT RESILIENCY, A WIDE RANGE OF LEADERSHIP AND COMPETENCIES DEMONSTRATED REPEATEDLY IN TOUGH MISSIONS, WISDOM WAY BEYOND THEIR YEARS, ADAPTABILITY TO GO FROM INTENSE FIREFIGHTS TO SIT DOWN DISCUSSIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS WITH VILLAGE ELDERS AND LOCAL SHEIKS OFTEN IN THE SAME DAY, SELFLESS TEAMWORK, AND DEVOTION TO EACH OTHER.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE US ARMY, ALL OF IT, ACTIVE, NATIONAL GUARD, AND ARMY RESERVE NOW USED AS AN OPERATIONAL RESERVE, SO FOCUSED. SO HARD. SO TOUGH, SO RESILIENT AS I DO NOW, GOING ON AND CONTINUING TO SERVE AND ACHIEVING REMARKABLE RESULTS FOR OUR NATION. OVER 233,000 MILITARY MEMBERS AND OVER 18,000 CIVILIAN MEMBERS OF OUR ARMY OVERSEAS EITHER

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FRANKS PHILA 19 MARCH SPEECH AS GIVEN 2908 WORDS

STATIONED OR IN DIRECT COMBAT. OVER 20,000 US MARINES IN AFGHANISTAN. INDEED, THE NEXT GREATEST GENERATION.

I TRULY BELIEVE THEY HAVE ALREADY ESTABLISHED A LEGACY EQUAL TO ANY IN THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION. THEY EPITOMIZE THOSE WORDS ON THAT SOLDIER STATUE NEAR HERE IN ANTIETAM, MARYLAND, ´NOT FOR THEMSELVES, BUT FOR THEIR COUNTRY.µ JUST AS THOSE WHO FOUNDED THIS UNION LEAGUE HERE IN PHILADELPHIA IN 1862 WERE DEDICATED TO OUR UNION, SOMETHING LARGER THAN THEMSELVES.

THAT ETHOS ATTRACTS YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER OUR NATION TO COME TO WEST POINT WHERE IT HAS BEEN MY PRIVILEGE TO BE THE CLASS OF 1966 CHAIR IN THE SIMON CENTER FOR THE PROFESSIONAL MILITARY ETHIC.

[SLIDE 2-3 PHILA CADETS; OUTSTANDING CADETS; 4]

TODAY IN THE CORPS ARE 98 COMBAT VETERANS, OVER 1000 CADETS WHO HAD A PARENT WHO WAS CAREER MILITARY, AND 687 CADETS WHO HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS CURRENTLY SERVING. THESE TALENTED VALUES BASED YOUNG AMERICANS DO NOT HAVE TO BE THERE. BUT THEY ARE. AND AFTER TWO YEARS WHEN THEY ARE ASKED TO COMMIT FURTHER. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO STAY. BUT THEY DO. YES THEY ARE INSPIRING TO BE AROUND AND OUR NATION AND OUR ARMY IS IN GREAT HANDS WITH THEM.

WEST POINT HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOR ME MORE OF AN IDEA THAN A PLACE, MORE OF A CONCEPT OF SELFLESS SERVICE AND SACRIFICE, OF THE LIVED VALUES BY OUR GRADUATES ON OUR NATION·S BATTLEFIELDS AND ELSEWHERE IN THE MARKETPLACE OR IN PUBLIC SERVICE OF FAITHFULNESS TO DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY THAN A COLLECTION OF GRANITE BUILDINGS ON A SCENIC SPOT ON THE HUDSON RIVER.

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THOSE VALUES HAVE NEVER BEEN SO IMPORTANT TO OUR NATION AS THEY ARE NOW. MOST CERTAINLY ALL OF US AND OUR NATION AMIDST ALL OUR CURRENT CHALLENGES TO INCLUDE NOW LIBYA AS HAVE JUST SEEN ON THE NEWS AND OCCASIONAL SETBACKS AND SURPRISES COULD TAKE THE LEAD FROM OUR MAGNIFICENT MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR ARMED FORCES. TO BE AS TOUGH AND RESILIENT AND SELFLESS AS THEY ARE.

WE ARE GREAT AS A NATION NOT SO MUCH FOR OUR MILITARY MIGHT, AS VITAL AS THAT CONTINUES TO BE, BUT BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE AS A PEOPLE AND NATION, ABLE TO TRANSCEND OUR INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP IDENTITIES FOR OUR COUNTRY. GREAT BECAUSE THERE ARE NO HEIGHTS WE CANNOT SCALE NOR ANY SETBACK WE CANNOT OVERCOME.

THAT HAS BEEN OUR HISTORY. THAT IS OUR LEGACY AS A NATION. RESILIENT, TOUGH, NO QUIT AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE.

WEST POINT SINCE 1802 HAS BEEN RIGHT AT THE HEART OF ALL THAT. PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON, 7 DECEMBER 1796 RIGHT HERE IN PHILADELPHIA SAID, ´I have heretofore proposed to the consideration of Congress the expediency of establishing a national university and also a military academy«.µ

THEN, AS NOW, IT TAKES A WHILE FOR SOME THINGS TO HAPPEN AND WEST POINT BEGAN IN THE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON ADMINISTRATION ON 16 MARCH 1802. YET, FROM WASHINGTON'S 7 DEC 1796 ADDRESS TO CONGRESS TO ESTABLISH WEST POINT UNTIL NOW, IT SEEMS TO ME OUR LEGACY AS A NATION HAS BEEN THAT ROCK SOLID COMMITMENT TO TRANSCEND OUR INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP IDENTITIES TO BE ONE, E PLURIBUS UNUM, TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION, COMMITTED TO FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. WILLING WHEN NECESSARY TO FIGHT FOR THAT AS NOW. THAT TOUGHNESS. THAT ABILITY TO GET BACK UP AND GO ON. THAT ABILITY TO BE BOLD

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WHEN NECESSARY. THAT ABILITY TO SAY, 'FOR MORE THAN OURSELVES' AS OUR GRANDSON'S WEST POINT CLASS OF 2012 SAYS IN THEIR CLASS MOTTO.

SO IT IS PRESENT TODAY IN THOSE WHO ARE CADETS AND THOSE GRADUATES IN THIS WAR AS IT IS PRESENT IN THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO SERVE FROM ACROSS AMERICA, THAT ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF OUR NATION WHO DOES. OUR NATION IS IN GREAT HANDS WITH THESE YOUNG AMERICANS. THESE SELFLESS, HUMBLE, COURAGEOUS AMERICANS WHO RISK IT ALL FOR ALL OF US. WHO ARE IN OUR MIDST HERE TONIGHT ON THE FOUNDERS DAY OF WEST POINT IN OUR FOUNDING CITY OF AMERICA.

LET ME CONCLUDE BY SHOWING YOU SOME OF THEM.

[SLIDES 5-11]

SINCE IT HAS BEEN MY HONOR TO SERVE AT WEST POINT AS THE CLASS OF 1966 CHAIR, I FIRST SAID THIS TO CADETS ON 6 JANUARY 2000 AND EVERY YEAR SINCE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT CONNECTS US ALL IN OUR SERVICE: ´SOMETIME AFTER GRADUATION AND I CANNOT PREDICT WHEN, OUR NATION WILL LOOK TO YOU TO ACCOMPLISH A MISSION OF EXTREME DIFFICULTY AND IMPORTANCE, AND ONE THAT ONLY YOU AND YOUR SOLDIERS CAN DO. I DO NOT KNOW THE CONDITIONS, NOR PART OF THE WORLD, NOR EVEN HOW LONG AFTER GRADUATION, BUT I KNOW YOU WILL BE ON THE SPOT TO DELIVER MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AT LEAST COST TO THE SOLDIERS OUR NATION HAS ENTRUSTED TO YOUR COMMAND« ON THAT DAY WHEN OUR NATION NEEDS YOU TO ACCOMPLISH THAT DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT MISSION, YOU WILL DO YOUR DUTY, HONOR YOURSELF AND YOUR SOLDIERS AND OUR COUNTRY. I KNOW YOU WILL.· THAT WAS THE WEST POINT CLASS OF 2003. AS YOU KNOW 83 WEST POINT GRADUATES HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES DOING JUST THAT ALONG WITH OVER 5800 OF THEIR FELLOW SOLDIERS.

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FRANKS PHILA 19 MARCH SPEECH AS GIVEN 2908 WORDS

IT IS A STUNNING AND REFLECTIVE THOUGHT AND TOGETHER WITH ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED WITH BOTH VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOUNDS ALONG WITH THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO SERVE SO NOBLY TODAY, A CONSTANT REMINDER TO US ALL AND ESPECIALLY TO THE FAMILIES WHO BEAR THE PAIN OF THAT LOSS JUST HOW UNIQUE OUR PROFESSION OF ARMS IS IN THE CHARACTER OF ITS SERVICE TO OUR NATION, AND HOW OUR ALMA MATER HAS BEEN RIGHT AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF SUCH RESILIENT, NO QUIT HONORABLE DUTY IN SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY RIGHT FROM OUR BEGINNINGS IN 1802. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THIS AWARD AND FOR INCLUDING ME TONIGHT HERE IN MY HOME STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA. MAY GOD BLESS THE MEMBERS OF OUR ARMED FORCES, OUR ALMA MATER, AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA. THANK YOU. 

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