Lexical analysis was performed by the Area 51 Research Center and is summarized below. To aid
all patriotic words employed by Gen. Esmond are highlighted below in bold print. These are the
emotional words commonly associated with military speeches.
As I write these comments, the Olympic Games are in full swing in
Atlanta. The globe's finest athletes are striving to represent their nations to
the best of their ability -- all with hopes of standing proudly on the podium
as their national anthem is played. Few will reach that goal, but not from lack
of trying. As they compete for glory, the competitors represent more than just
their nations; they represent concepts like dedication, courage, sacrifice and
These concepts are equally represented by the men and women of our nation's
military services. While few service members think of themselves as Olympians,
they are, in fact, superb representatives of our nation, and their dedication,
courage, sacrifice and honor should never be questioned or ignored.
As commander of the Air Warfare Center at Nellis, I am
blessed to be able to work with some of the most dedicated men and women in the
United States Air Force. Our mission, to prepare aircrews for combat, is
sobering. If one member of the team fails to perform at
his or her highest level, it could mean someone dies. That's serious business.
Our service members show their dedication to that mission every day, 365
days a year. Our aircraft maintenance crews routinely work 12-hour days, in
extreme conditions, to ensure all aircraft are in top condition. I have yet to
hear one airman complain; rather I hear pride in their voices as they say,
"That's my airplane."
I see examples of courage on a daily basis -- not unlike that shown by
the young gymnast who performed a second vault even though she was injured.
While it appears she didn't need to perform that physically challenging vault
for her team to win a gold medal, she didn't know that. She believed she needed
to compete to help her team.
This kind of moral and physical courage is
difficult to define and harder to find. Yet, our Air Force members exemplify
these concepts. The world viewed the physical courage of Capt. Scott O'Grady
after he was shot down in Bosnia. However, moral courage may be more elusive to
But the airman who challenges her supervisor when she
knows a decision is in error is demonstrating the highest level of moral
courage. Our young people (and some not quite so young) don't
hesitate to make sure what they're doing is right to ensure that the team
Every man and woman choosing to join the military knows they may
be required to make sacrifices. The ultimate sacrifice: dying in support of our
nation. After 27 years in an Air Force uniform, I admit it's hard to send any
military member in harm's way. Yet that's what we do for our nation and will
continue to do as long as there are threats to our national security.
Our military forces also sacrifice in many other ways, the most obvious being
separated from their families for extended periods. I'm not going to say they
don't often question these separations. The bottom line is they go, as millions
of American men and women before them have gone to distant lands to protect
democratic ideals and offer peace in an unstable world. While many question our
international military involvement, I hope none question the dedication,
courage and sacrifice of the men and women defending America.
Honor involves all of these ideals.
It also embodies truth, patriotism and conviction.
Our military forces today represent the best our nation
has to offer. We have problems; we have our warts. But across the board,
service members consistently strive to be good Americans, good airmen,
soldiers, marines and sailors, and to represent our nation with honor. We are
your sons and daughters, your husbands and wives, your neighbors and friends.
We proudly carry our flag to nations around the world in peace and in conflict.
We prepare for the worst in hopes it will never occur. If I sound as if I'm
covered in red, white and blue, I am. But if we lose our national honor, we
have lost far more than military or economic strength. We have lost the
distinction of being the country where more people on the planet want to live
than anywhere else. An unrecoverable loss. A loss military members vow will