Today’s post celebrates our nation’s independence by reflecting upon the words of past and present American leaders.  Some of the quotes included are amusing, some are sobering, and some are inspirational, but they are all part of the American spirit that has helped form our great nation.  We wish you a wonderful Independence Day!

20 Military Quotes

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.

General Douglas MacArthur


You are remembered for the rules you break.

General Douglas MacArthur


Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.

General George Marshall


Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.

General George S. Patten


There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.

General George S. Patton


No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

General George S. Patton


Military glory – that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.

Abraham Lincoln


Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats.

Josephus Daniels


This nation will remain the land of the free, only so long as it is the home of the brave.

Elmer Davis


Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Colin Powell


If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.

David Hackworth


History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

General Dwight Eisenhower


A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

General Dwight Eisenhower


If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.

General Ulysses S. Grant


In war there is no second prize for the runner-up.

General Omar Bradley


The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.

President George Washington


Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.



It is God’s job to forgive Osama Bin Laden. It is our job to arrange a face to face  meeting.

General Norman Schwarzkopf


         Now therefore, be it Resolved by the Fiftieth Annual Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That we hereby declare  that we are unalterably opposed to any program which would entail the surrender of any part of the sovereignty of the United States of America in favor of a world government.

Veterans of Foreign Wars


It is the Soldier, not the minister

Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter

Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet

Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer

Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer

Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician

Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,

And whose coffin is draped by the flag,

Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Copyright 1970, 2005 Charles M. Province

20 Presidential Quotes

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth. 

George Washington


In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson


I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

James Madison


A decent and manly examination of the acts of the government should not only be tolerated, but encouraged. 

William Harrison


I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

Abraham Lincoln


The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people.

Andrew Johnson


Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.

James Garfield


To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Theodore Roosevelt


Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution.

William Taft


If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson


Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.

Calvin Coolidge


A splendid storehouse of integrity and freedom has been bequeathed to us by our forefathers.  In this day of confusion, of peril to liberty, our high duty is to see that this storehouse is not robbed of its contents. 

Herbert Hoover


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Franklin Roosevelt   


May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.

John F. Kennedy


A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Gerald Rudolph Ford


We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.

Jimmy Carter


If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

Ronald Reagan


If anyone tells you that America’s best days are behind her, they’re looking the wrong way.

George Herbert Walker Bush


There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America.

William Clinton


(A great poem that resonates with me is One Warrior’s Creed, from my friend, Retired Special Forces Colonel Randy Watt.  It was written when he was leaving a tour in Iraq and was asked, “Why Do You Guys Do What You Do?”)

If today is to be THE DAY, so be it.
If you seek to do battle with me this day
you will receive the best that I am capable of giving.

It may not be enough,
but it will be everything that I have to give
and it will be impressive
for I have constantly prepared myself for this day.

I have trained, drilled and rehearsed my actions
so that I might have the best chance of defeating you.

I have kept myself in peak physical condition,
schooled myself in the martial skills
and have become proficient in the application of combat tactics.

You may defeat me, but you will pay a severe price
and will be lucky to escape with your life.
You may kill me, but I am willing to die if necessary.

I do not fear Death,
for I have been close enough to it on enough occasions
that it no longer concerns me.

But I do fear the loss of my Honor
and would rather die fighting
than to have it said that I was without Courage.

no matter how insurmountable it may seem,
and to the death if need be,
in order that it may never be said of me
that I was not a Warrior.

© Steven R. Watt, All Rights Reserved.

2 final quotes that seem appropriate for the day:

If you don’t have a sword, sell your extra cloak and go buy one

Jesus in Luke 22:36

Put your sword back in it’s place

Jesus in Matthew 26:52

Do you have a favorite military or presidential quote or remembrance to add? Please sound off by posting below!

by Mike Ox

Mike Ox is an avid defensive and competitive shooter who has co-created several firearms training products, including Dry Fire Training Cards,

Dry Fire Fit, 21 Day Alpha Shooter, and See Faster, Shoot Faster.  His brain based training focuses on accelerated learning techniques for shooting as well as controlling brain state and brain chemistry for optimal performance in extreme stress situations.  Learn more about dynamic dry fire training for defense and competition at

Photo courtesy of US Army

(Editor’s Note. This piece was originally published in 2018)