I was born an American; I live an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career. I mean to do this with absolute disregard of personal consequences.
What are the personal consequences? What is the individual man, with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good or evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country's fate?
Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless. No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer, or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and constitution of his country.
Freedom is essentially a condition of inequality, not equality. It recognizes as a fact of nature the structural differences inherent in man – in temperament, character, and capacity – and it respects those differences. We are not alike and no law can make us so.
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
Courage is the sin quo non of leadership: it is that quality of character that will encounter danger with firmness. Courage will stand on principle in the face of opposition and unpopularity. It will confront moral evil with the truth, and will face physical danger with valor. While others may falter through fear, a courageous leader will remain calm in crisis and vigilant in action.
Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure if they have it until the test comes.
Today the word hero has been diminished, confused with celebrity. But in my father’s generation the word meant something. Celebrities seek fame. They take actions to get attention. But heroes are heroes because they have risked something to help others.
The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.
After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.
In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.