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Eighty years and one month ago to the day, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech to Parliament. That speech, probably Churchill’s finest, is most famous for its litany of desperate battlefields upon which England was prepared to defend herself: on the seas, the beaches, the hills and roads and fields of that tiny but then-powerful nation.

But what I find most moving about it is its conclusion:

[W]e shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

America is, of course, the New World of which he spoke, and step forth she did with all her power and might. Five years later, on September 2, 1945, our warplanes darkened the sky over Tokyo Bay as, on the deck of the US Battleship Missouri, the Japanese Empire surrendered and World War II ended.

That was the beginning of the current age of peace, Pax Americana, the longest interval in human history without a war between the great powers.

Man needs freedom, and that freedom depends on western civilization and its unique values. Western civilization, today as much as eighty years ago, needs America, both as a practical necessity and as a beacon of hope and light.

We are history’s greatest achievement. We are the bulwark. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

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  1. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wonderful! I believe it.

    • #1
    • July 4, 2020, at 8:49 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very well put! Thank you, @henryracette.

    • #2
    • July 4, 2020, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. JustmeinAZ Member

    Henry Racette: We are history’s greatest achievement. We are the bulwark.

    We are.

    • #3
    • July 4, 2020, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Quietpi Member

    Some types of cases I did caused me to sometimes sit for a while in a waiting room. Having quickly tired of National Geographic magazines from 1954, I began carrying a folder with Good and worthwhile reading material. The entire text of this great speech is one I read more than once.

    • #4
    • July 4, 2020, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. philo Member

    Henry Racette: Man needs freedom, and that freedom depends on western civilization and its unique values. Western civilization, today as much as eighty years ago, needs America, both as a practical necessity and as a beacon of hope and light. … We are history’s greatest achievement.

    A whole lot of truth packed into less than fifty words.

    P.S. An old friend used to preach to me about his refusal to give away the language to those who only wish to destroy it. (Oh, so many examples from recent headlines could fill these pages now. But I digress.) I award you bonus points here for similar spine with correct public usage of one of today’s threatened words here:

    Henry Racette: We are the bulwark.

     

    • #5
    • July 4, 2020, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    • #6
    • July 4, 2020, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Churchill always had his eye on the U.S. and its role in the war, always finding a way to try to relate the terrible events in Europe to the future of America. Two weeks later, in the final paragraph of the Finest Hour speech he said:

    The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

    • #7
    • July 4, 2020, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Churchill’s “New World” is being challenged from within. This video was taken near Atlanta of an armed black militant group, the NFAC, harassing motorists and demanding reparations for slavery. “Pax Americana” is hanging by a slender thread and the mayhem, rioting, looting, and killing in various parts of the country may intensify. If the FBI isn’t investigating and monitoring this group, it should be. If any one of the NFAC harms or kills someone, it will get ugly. Are armed patriots who want to preserve America from terrorists ready to defend their homes and neighborhoods from groups like this? Is the federal government?

    WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE

    • #8
    • July 4, 2020, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Chris Gregerson Member
    Chris Gregerson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Don’t forget the Franco-German was of 1871.

    • #9
    • July 4, 2020, at 5:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Unfortunately for at least 50 years it’s been the left that has moved forward relentlessly never giving an inch. They renew the fight even when they win , never even passing for breath before moving on to the next target. The most we have ever done is slow them down for a short while until they come at us again. All our side ever seeks is a temporary truce, never victory. 

     

    • #10
    • July 4, 2020, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Flicker Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Churchill’s “New World” is being challenged from within. This video was taken near Atlanta of an armed black militant group, the NFAC, harassing motorists and demanding reparations for slavery. “Pax Americana” is hanging by a slender thread and the mayhem, rioting, looting, and killing in various parts of the country may intensify. If the FBI isn’t investigating and monitoring this group, it should be. If any one of the NFAC harms or kills someone, it will get ugly. Are armed patriots who want to preserve America from terrorists ready to defend their homes and neighborhoods from groups like this? Is the federal government?

    WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE

    This is messed up. Very off-putting. How long have they been organizing? And did i see white people in the mix? Or is that just my screen.

    • #11
    • July 4, 2020, at 5:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. MiMac Thatcher

    Churchill wrote that when he was awaken & informed the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor that he went back to bed & “slept the sleep of the saved“. He wrote Japan would be ground to dust and Germany defeated because America was like a giant boiler-once a fire was lit under her their was no end to the power she could produce. He knew it wouldn’t be easy but the end was no longer in doubt.

    • #12
    • July 4, 2020, at 6:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Michael, history has never been my long suit, and it’s possible I’m mistaken. My source is British historical writer Paul Johnson, who wrote in 2009 that:

    Since 1945 America has voluntarily accepted leadership of the democratic West and therefore, ultimately, the responsibility for preserving peace in the world.

    Since the end of WWII there has been no major war, no open conflict between great powers.

    This is the longest such period of peace, nearly 65 years, in the recorded history of the world, which is objective testimony to the quality and success of American leadership.

     

    • #13
    • July 4, 2020, at 6:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Weeping Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Paul Johnson: Since 1945 America has voluntarily accepted leadership of the democratic West and therefore, ultimately, the responsibility for preserving peace in the world.

    Since the end of WWII there has been no major war, no open conflict between great powers.

    This is the longest such period of peace, nearly 65 years, in the recorded history of the world, which is objective testimony to the quality and success of American leadership.

    Do the Korean and Vietnam wars not count?

     

    • #14
    • July 4, 2020, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. tigerlily Member

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Don’t forget the Franco-German was of 1871.

    Yeah, but still pretty peaceful especially in relation to the centuries preceding and succeeding it.

    • #15
    • July 4, 2020, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    The reference to Pax Americana was to an absence of wars between the great powers. The Korean and Vietnamese wars were civil war, with the factions supported by opposing great powers but those powers themselves not confronting each other.

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Michael, again, I’m not a student of history, but the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 falls pretty much in the middle of the span you mentioned. It was a real great power war.

    • #16
    • July 4, 2020, at 10:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. James Lileks Contributor

    We are history’s greatest achievement. We are the bulwark. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

    And no one will. The good news: once Biden wins, the overculture and its enablers, both passive and active, will announce that America is good again, and has regained its soul and moral compass. This will be generally regarded as carte blanche for whatever the statists wish to do, because they have virtue on their side.

    You can even look forward to Joe Biden making a speech at Mt. Rushmore, announcing he is giving it back, but the sculptures will stay. This will wash away the moral stain, and it will be okay to go there again – because it, along with all the problematic parts of America, have been sanctified by the passage of power into the hands of the right people. 

    • #17
    • July 4, 2020, at 10:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The reference to Pax Americana was to an absence of wars between the great powers. The Korean and Vietnamese wars were civil war, with the factions supported by opposing great powers but those powers themselves not confronting each other.

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Michael, again, I’m not a student of history, but the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 falls pretty much in the middle of the span you mentioned. It was a real great power war.

    If America, and more specifically, some American politicians are unwilling to stop the violence and insurrection we are witnessing in our own cities, then how long before a country with adventurous intentions like China or Russia will be tempted to test our international resolve by claiming territory (or in Russia’s case, more territory)? Pax America is dependent on America behaving as a united country resolved to fight tyrants and terrorists abroad. Difficult to convey that when Marxist anarchists and terrorists are running rampant in numerous American cities. 

    • #18
    • July 4, 2020, at 10:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    We are history’s greatest achievement. We are the bulwark. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

    And no one will. The good news: once Biden wins, the overculture and its enablers, both passive and active, will announce that America is good again, and has regained its soul and moral compass. This will be generally regarded as carte blanche for whatever the statists wish to do, because they have virtue on their side.

    You can even look forward to Joe Biden making a speech at Mt. Rushmore, announcing he is giving it back, but the sculptures will stay. This will wash away the moral stain, and it will be okay to go there again – because it, along with all the problematic parts of America, have been sanctified by the passage of power into the hands of the right people.

    My friend, I think you place too much faith in the healing powers of opportunistic hypocrisy.

    But no. America qua America will remain, in the eyes of the progressive left, evil. Only making it something else will fix that.

    I hear Venezuela is nice.

    • #19
    • July 4, 2020, at 10:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    We are history’s greatest achievement. We are the bulwark. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

    And no one will. The good news: once Biden wins, the overculture and its enablers, both passive and active, will announce that America is good again, and has regained its soul and moral compass. This will be generally regarded as carte blanche for whatever the statists wish to do, because they have virtue on their side.

    You can even look forward to Joe Biden making a speech at Mt. Rushmore, announcing he is giving it back, but the sculptures will stay. This will wash away the moral stain, and it will be okay to go there again – because it, along with all the problematic parts of America, have been sanctified by the passage of power into the hands of the right people.

    If Biden becomes President, the sculptures on Mt. Rushmore will be blown up. End of story.

    • #20
    • July 4, 2020, at 10:47 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Doctor Robert Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    With local exceptions of the Crimean War and the Boer War, which I think led to WWI, the century between 1815 and 1914 were peaceful. Certainly as peaceful as the period after WWII.

    Tell that to Napoleon III at Sedan.

    • #21
    • July 5, 2020, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • Like