|"...And so many of the blessings and advantages we have, so many of the reasons why our civilization, our culture, has flourished aren't understood; they're not appreciated. And if you don't have any appreciation of what people went through to get, to achieve, to build what you are benefiting from, then these things don't mean very much to you. You just think, well, that's the way it is. That's our birthright. That just happened. [But] it didn't just happen. And at what price? What grief? What disappointment? What suffering went on? I mean this: I think that to be ignorant or indifferent to history isn't just to be uneducated or stupid. It's to be rude, ungrateful. And ingratitude is an ugly failing in human beings."|
--Historian David McCullough
|John Paul Jones aboard Bon Homme Richard|
" The burial place and Jones' body was discovered in April 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt sent four cruisers to bring it back to the U.S., and these ships were escorted up the Chesapeake Bay by seven battleships."
|The coffin of John Paul Jones is lowered to the deck of the USS Standish off Annapolis Roads, July 23, 1905|
|Addressing the crew of USS Connecticutt|
"As a people we are too apt to remember only that some of our ships did well in that war. We had a few ships -- a very few ships -- and they did so well as to show the utter folly of not having enough of them. Thanks to our folly as a nation, thanks to the folly that found expression in the views of those at the seat of government, not a ship of any importance had been built within a dozen years before the war began, and the Navy was so small that, when once the war was on, our opponents were able to establish a close blockade throughout the length of our coast, so that not a ship could go from one port to another, and all traffic had to go by land. Our parsimony in not preparing an adequate navy (which would have prevented the war) cost in the end literally thousands of dollars for every one dollar we thus foolishly saved. After two years of that war an utterly inconsiderable British force of about four thousand men was landed here in the bay, defeated with ease a larger body of raw troops put against it, and took Washington."
"I am sorry to say that those of our countrymen who now speak of the deed usually confine themselves to denouncing the British for having burned certain buildings in Washington. They had better spare their breath. The sin of the invaders in burning the buildings is trivial compared with the sin of our own people in failing to make ready an adequate force to defeat the attempt. This nation was guilty of such shortsightedness, of such folly, of such lack of preparation that it was forced supinely to submit to the insult and was impotent to avenge it; and it was only the good fortune of having in Andrew Jackson a great natural soldier that prevented a repetition of the disaster at New Orleans. Let us remember our own shortcomings, and see to it that the men in public life to-day are not permitted to bring about a state of things by which we should in effect invite a repetition of such a humiliation."
"We can afford as a people to differ on the ordinary party questions; but if we are both farsighted and patriotic we can not afford to differ on the all-important question of keeping the national defenses as they should be kept; of not alone keeping up, but of going on with building up of the United States Navy, and of keeping our small Army at least at its present size and making it the most efficient for its size that there is on the globe. Remember, you here who are listening to me, that to applaud patriotic sentiments and to turn out to do honor to the dead heroes who by land or by sea won honor for our flag is only worth while if we are prepared to show that our energies do not exhaust themselves in words; if we are prepared to show that we intend to take to heart the lessons of the past and make things ready so that if ever, which heaven forbid, the need should arise, our fighting men on sea and ashore shall be able to rise to the standard established by their predecessors in our services of the past."
"Those of you who are in public life have a moral right to be here at this celebration to-day only if you are prepared to do your part in building up the Navy of the present; for otherwise you have no right to claim lot or part in the glory and honor and renown of the Navy's past."
-- "Farewell Paul Jones", President Theodore Roosevelt at Annapolis, 1906
|Great White Fleet|
|The Silent Service|
|TR won the Nobel by earning it, not an Affirmative Action pat-on-the-head|