“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 16 April 1953.
“The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. “ - John F. Kennedy.
“I couldn't help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We'd] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together.” - Ronald Reagan, 1985.
“The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.” - John F. Kennedy.
“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.” - Ulysses S. Grant.
“I recoil with horror at the ferociousness of man. Will nations never devise a more rational umpire of differences than force? Are there no means of coercing injustice more gratifying to our nature than a waste of the blood of thousands and of the labor of millions of our fellow creatures?” - Thomas Jefferson
All of these men led in times of war, yet they did so with a consciousness of both its futility and its cost.
Today, we honor those who followed, who shed blood and innocence for causes they believed.