Duty, Honor, Country:

General Douglas MacArthur's Farewell Speech

Given to the Corps of Cadets at West Pointexcerpts






  麥克阿瑟將軍 (General Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964) 是美國名將,戰功彪炳。本篇來自他對西點軍校的學生隊的演講,也是他有生之年最後的一次重要演講。

  西點是美國最有名的職業軍人訓練基地,也是培養名將的搖籃。麥克阿瑟於 1904 年從這裡以最優異的成績畢業,將近一個花甲之後,他被學校選為當年對美國最有貢獻的人物,藉著領獎機會,他對母校的後生晚輩闡揚該校的校訓 (motto):責任、榮譽、國家。


  No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a tribute as this Thayer Award. Coming from a profession I have served so long and a people I have loved so well, it fills me with an emotion I cannot express. But this award is not intended primarily to honor a personality, but to symbolize a great moral codea code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this beloved land of culture and ancient descent.


  "Duty," "honor," "country"*those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.


  The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character*, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule. But these are some of the things they build*. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.


  They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.


  They give you a temperate will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease. They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman.