At the end of World War II, a U.S. Army General sent a letter to all personnel being discharged from the service at Fourth Army Headquarters in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
General J. M. Wainwright was Commander of that Post and the writer of that letter.
Did he think his words would be remembered? Could he have believed that in 70 years our country would need to be reminded not only of the devastation and heartache that can occurred in Europe and Asia during that awful war, but how it had happened?
Maybe not. But he did understand how to keep it from happening again.
As we face the upcoming national election, his words speak directly to every American. Please share.
(An excerpt from General J.M. Wainwright’s letter)
“To: All Personnel Being Discharged from the Army of the United States.
You are being discharged from the Army today – from your Army. It is your Army because your skill, patriotism, labor, courage and devotion have been some of the factors which make it great. You have been a member of the finest military team in history. You have accomplished miracles in battle and supply. Your country is proud of you and you have every right to be proud of yourselves.
You have seen, in the lands where you worked and fought and where many of your comrades died, what happens when the people of a nation lose interest in their government. You have seen what happens when they follow false leaders. You have seen what happens when a nation accepts hate and intolerance.
We are all determined that what happened in Europe and in Asia must not happen to our country. Back in civilian life you will find that your generation will be called upon to guide our country’s destiny. Opportunity for leadership is yours. The responsibility is yours. The nation which depended on your courage and stamina to protect it from its enemies now expects you as individuals to claim your right to leadership, a right which you earned honorably and which is well deserved.
Start being a leader as soon as you put on your civilian clothes. if you see intolerance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people.
Remember, too, that No American can afford to be disinterested in any part of his government, whether it is county, city, state, or nation.
Choose your leaders wisely – that is the way to keep ours the country for which you fought. Make sure that those leaders are determined to maintain peace throughout the world. you know what war is. You know that we must not have another. As individuals you can prevent it if you give to the task which lies ahead the same spirit which you displayed in uniform.
Accept that trust and the challenge which it carries. I know that the people of America are counting on you. I know that you will not let them down.
Goodbye to each and every one of you and to each and every one of you, good luck!
General, U.S. army