General Flynn Award Acceptance Speech Transcribed
Anyway, so I want to make sure that I’m very precise, because I know that there’s going to be a lot of people that will, that I see in the back row that will pay a attention to whatever the heck I say and I want to make sure that they get the words that I say right because I really believe in the things that I’m going to say and like I said I spoke to General Singlaub this week about serving America and what it means to both of us and I want to share some of our thoughts to all of you tonight.
Service to America requires us, today and tomorrow to stand together as champions for freedom and soldiers of liberty who are on the right side of history. Anything less cannot be tolerated if our country is to survive. For many of us across our nation we understand that this is not the first time that patriots have risen to this fight that we’re in today. More than two hundred years ago, more than two hundred and fifty years ago, Patrick Henry, a great patriot who understood service to his country; he warned his countrymen that his choice against GB suppression of freedoms was crystal clear, as mine is tonight. As he described slavery to a monarch or freedom. It seems like an easy choice. Oh mighty God he said, I know not what course others take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. What an amazing thing to say at the time of the birth of our country.
Another great servant, Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln fought for his vision to unite the north and the south as a new birth of freedom so that all people would be treated equally without regard for color or race. In his very famous Gettysburg address of 1863, at the dedication of the soldiers national cemetery to honor union soldiers who had died in the civil war, Abraham Lincoln, President Lincoln, he inspired our nation, he inspired Americans to fight on so that these dead shall not have died in vain and that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, by you, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Nearly, in fact just slightly over one hundred years later, in his 1964 speech at the Republican national convention, another great American, another great American servant, and subsequently President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. He redefined the very essence of why the fight by Americans against tyranny and injustice will never end, Must never end. Reagan said “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction, we didn’t pass it to our children in the blood stream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same”. This time, our time, our America, the urgency to act is at the doorstep of our democracy.
The future of this country depends on each one of you in this room tonight and many, many others that you represent around our great country. This turning point is about the heart and soul of the United States of America, you cannot and must not be silent or take for granted that our great nation, that our great nation will not fall to the many threats that we face around the world and some here at home. It is time, it is absolutely time, time tonight, time this weekend, never a better time, but it’s time to buckle down and listen up and stand ready to fight for our way of life and our traditions. For those who oppose our fundamental principles can take us down in a snap of a finger. In my book, The Field of Fight, I stated, it’s on page 111, for anybody that wants to look if you’ve got the book, I stated that we, I stated that we should not fear the Judeo Christian principles that our nation was founded upon. We should not be in fear of that. We should cherish that, we should believe in that, we should be incredibly proud of that. I will always believe that.
To those in the room this evening that have served in the military, or served as first responders, you represent our warriors around the world and across our country and you all know what your respective battlefields look like. They are not pretty, and they are not perfect, definitely. And we fight or serve America, not because, and this is super important, we fight or we serve America, not because we hate our enemies, it’s because we love our country. We absolutely love the freedoms that we cherish. When we talk about why we fight, why does a soldier, or a marine, or an airman, why do they do what they do on the battlefield, it’s always about the buddy next to them or the person on your right or left. Deep down inside it’s about the way we want to live and the way we must continue to fight to live for. Super important. Our fight, our fight for individual freedom and liberty that I described a little while ago will also not be pretty nor perfect. We will be measured harshly, trust me, we will be measured harshly, and our enemies will try to destroy us but we cannot fail.
There are moments in history that are seminal and then there are other moments that are monumental. Major General Jack Singlaub was present at all of these, and he was present at all of these during most of the last century. Like I said, he’s 97 years old, I would not want to meet him in a bar fight tonight. He’s a pretty incredible human being, and thank God our country has people like him. He always, always, always responded to the call to serve, call to duty and in his way, with his gifts, his intellect, his courage, and his belief system he served our country and he continues to serve our country. I’m standing here as a reflection of Jack Singlaub because of his service. Jack served our country with distinction, with honor, integrity, and with dedication to liberty and freedom. But above all, above all, he dedicated his life to God, he dedicated his life to his family, and he dedicated his life to our country, the United States of America. On behalf of Major General Jack Singlaub and for all of his tremendous years of service and his service to America, I humbly accept this award. I commit to General Singlaub and to you tonight that I will never stop fighting and I will never stop believing.
Our nation in its very existence are always at risk to tyranny, especially tyranny around the world. My pledge of allegiance and my solemn vow is to our beautiful country, its flag and my pledge will never waiver, my pledge will never waiver. I know all of you feel the same but every so often it’s good to be reminded. So to all of you thank you so much, thank you for this honor, and I hope you enjoy this great weekend and God Bless America.