Friday, February 25, 2011

Fighting Words

 (MOLON LABE! – “Having come, take!” i.e., “Come and take them [our weapons]!”)

-- King Leonidas of Sparta to King Xerxes of Persia
in response to his demand the Spartans lay down their arms

“For it is better to die of hunger, exempt from fear and guilt than to live in affluence with perturbation”

-- Epictetus

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? 
I know not what course others may take, but as for me, Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!"

--Patrick Henry

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, what should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"

-- Samuel Adams

“They who would give up an essential liberty for a temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security.”

-- Benjamin Franklin

"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

"I may sink, but I'll be damned if I strike!"

-- John Paul Jones

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

-- John Stuart Mill

"We're paratroopers, Lieutenant. We're supposed to be surrounded."

-- Cpt. Richard Winters, E/506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Bastogne


-- Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, 101st Airborne Division, Bastogne, December 1944, to German commander demanding surrender

"We're surrounded.  This simplifies the problem."

--Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC, at Chosin Reservoir, Korea

“It is better to be a live jackal than a dead lion – for jackals, not for men. Men who have the moral courage to fight intelligently for freedom have the best prospects of avoiding the fate of both live jackals and dead lions. Survival is not the be-all and end-all of a life worthy of man. Sometimes the worst thing we can know about a man is that he has survived. Those who say life is living at any cost have already written themselves an epitaph of infamy, for there is no cause and no person they will not betray to stay alive. Man’s vocation should be the use of the arts of intelligence in behalf of human freedom.”

-- Sidney Hook

"This ship is built to fight. You had better know how."

-- Admiral Arleigh "31 Knot" Burke to the crew of the USS Arleigh Burke, DDG-51, at her commissioning

"Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll!"

-- Todd Beamer, United Flight 93, September 11, 2001

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