In war there is no substitute for victory.
A soldier is called sometimes to fight, sometimes to die, but always to suffer.
The soldier, above all men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training [sacrifice]. In battle, in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of divine help that alone can sustain him. However horrible the instances of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son, whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee -- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And, after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
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