May 30, 2005
I want to live forever; the only way that one could possibly achieve it in this day and age is to live on in those you have affected. I want to carve out a niche for myself in the history books. I want to be remembered for the things I accomplished. I sometimes dream of being a soldier in a war. In this war I am helping to liberate people from oppression. In the end there is a big parade and a monument built to immortalize us in stone ...
I guess what I want most of all is to be a part of the real world, not an entertainer. I want to have an essential role in the big picture. I want adventure, challenge, danger, and most of all I don't want to be behind a counter or desk. Maybe when I am a 100 years old I will slow down and relax. Till then, I have better things to do.
-- High school senior Michael Carlson, from from his "credo paper," May 11, 2000. Last January, Sergeant Carlson was killed in Iraq.
They are what General Marshall called "our secret weapon--the best damn kids in the world." Where do we find them? Where do we find such men? And the answer came almost as quickly as I'd asked the question. Where we've always found them in this country--in the farms, in the shops, in the stores, in the offices. They just are the product of the freeest society the world has ever known.
-- Ronald Reagan, 1984
... let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
-- Abraham Lincoln, 1865
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