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America’s Patriots & Veterans: Help Us Make the Movie That Hollywood Won’t!


Courage, Faith, Grit, Love, and Wisdom…
and the Call to Preserve Freedom

These poignant quotes inspire us to reflect on America’s heroic origins and to summon the courage, faith, grit, and wisdom needed to preserve the sacred fire of liberty for future generations and posterity.

  • May all of you, as Americans, never forget

    your heroic origins and never fail to seek divine guidance… We are forever indebted to those that have given their lives that we might be free.”

  • The battle for American freedom was begun by thousands of farmers and

    tradesmen who made up the Minute Men – citizens who were ready to defend their liberty at a moment’s notice. Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of America, cannot succeed with any lesser effort.”

  • The stories of past courage can define that

    ingredient – they can teach, they can offer hope, they provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”

  • Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice,

    and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families.”

    —Benjamin Rush, MD
  • The victory of the Americans over Burgoyne at Saratoga is one of the fifteen most decisive battles in world history.”

    —British historian Sir Edward S. Creasy, in 1851, in his acclaimed book “Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, From Marathon to Waterloo.”
  • The surrender of Lieutenant General John Burgoyne on the 17th of October

    1777, formed a niche in the Temple of Liberty which patriotism will one day fill with an appropriate monument.”

    —William L. Stone, Secretary, Saratoga Monument Association
  • The millennium would see other great battles, like Gettysburg and the

    Marne and D-Day. But in the last 1,000 years, I think, only the defeat of the Turks by Jan Sobieski near Vienna in 1683 rivaled Saratoga…Saratoga did more. It launched two centuries of revolution elsewhere. It marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire. And it breathed life into the United States of America.”

    —R.W. Apple, Jr., NY Times Magazine, May 9, 1999
  • Those people who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants.”

    —William Penn
  • Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

    —Benjamin Franklin
  • Resistance to tyranny is service to God.”

    —President James Madison
  • In every human breast, God has implanted a principle, which we call love of freedom;

    it is impatient of oppression, and pants for deliverance.”

    —Phillis Wheatley, 1774
  • And where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of the right,

    or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven, whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment.”

    —British philosopher John Locke’s expression of the right of revolution used in his Second Treatise on Civil Government (as part of Two Treatises of Government refuting the theory of the divine right of kings)
  • Give me liberty, or give me death!”

    —Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
  • Join, or Die.”

    —Political cartoon published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754 (imagery later used to foster unity amongst 13 colonies during the American War for Independence)
  • Those who would give up essential liberty,

    to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    —Benjamin Franklin
  • Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess,

    are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.”

    —Patrick Henry
  • Our cause is the cause of all mankind…

    we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.”

    —Benjamin Franklin
  • May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed,

    a name and a praise in the whole Earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the whole world in one common undistinguished ruin!”

    —Joseph Warren, MD
  • Nevertheless, to the persecution and tyranny of his cruel ministry we will not tamely submit;

    appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free.”

    —Joseph Warren, MD
  • Wherever your armies go, there we will go;

    you shall always find us by your side; and if providence calls us to sacrifice our Lives in the field of battle, we will fall where you fall, and lay our bones by yours. Nor shall peace ever be made between our nation and the red-coats until our brothers lead the way.”

    —Stockbridge tribes (Mohican, Munsee and Wappinger tribes from Western Massachusetts) pledge of loyalty to the American cause
  • Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men,

    but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”

    —Benjamin Franklin
  • The God who gave us life gave us liberty.

    Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

    —Thomas Jefferson
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident,

    that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    —Declaration of Independence
  • For the support of this declaration,

    with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

    —Pledge made by Signers of the Declaration of Independence
  • I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration,

    and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than the means.”

    —John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
  • [It] (Independence Day) will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America.

    I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

    —John Adams
  • I only regret that I have but one life

    to lose for my country.”

    —Nathan Hale’s last words prior to being hung by British forces in occupied New York City on September 22, 1776
  • There is a time when you have to sacrifice everything to have everything saved.”

    —Thaddeus Kosciuszko
  • There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty,

    that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.”

    —Alexander Hamilton
  • Liberty must at all hazards be supported…

    We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”

    —John Adams
  • We have all one common cause; let it, therefore, be our only contest,

    who shall most contribute to the security of the liberties of America.”

    —John Hancock
  • Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance,

    or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect – we have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own country’s honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions.”

    —General George Washington
  • The hour is fast approaching, on which the honor and success of this army,

    and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember officers and soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of liberty.”

    —General George Washington
  • What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

    Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

    —Thomas Paine
  • These are the times that try men’s souls:

    The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

    —Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, December 23, 1776
  • Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom,

    must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

    —Thomas Paine
  • I fear not, I see not reason for fear.

    In the end we will be the victors. For though at times the flame of liberty may cease to shine, the ember will never expire.”

    —Thomas Paine
  • Don’t tread on me!”

    —rallying cry against tyranny
  • There are your enemies,

    the Redcoats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow.”

    —General John Stark’s words to his men, the New Hampshire Regiment, prior to the Battle of Bennington at Walloomsac, New York on August 16, 1777
  • The glorious work we have in hand.

    Note: Upon receiving news of the stunning victory at Saratoga, Washington referred to the American Revolution as “the glorious work we have in hand” and acknowledged freedom and the American victory in the Upper Hudson Valley as unique gifts of the “Providence” of God.”

    —General George Washington
  • I congratulate you upon the glorious successes of our Arms in the North

    [T]his singular favour of Providence is to be received with thankfulness and the happy moment which Heaven has pointed out for the firm establishment of American Liberty ought to be embraced with becoming spirit.”

    —letter written on October 18, 1777 by Gen. George Washington the day he first received news of the complete victory at Saratoga.
  • To inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, and all under them,

    with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”

    —proclamation of Second Continental Congress and General Orders issued by General Washington which called for a national day of thanksgiving on December 18, 1777 for the providential victory at Saratoga
  • Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”

    —Marquis De Lafayette
  • No time is to be lost in raising and maintaining a national spirit in America.”

    —John Jay
  • I think that we have no rational dependence except on God and ourselves.”

    —John Jay’s letter to Robert Livingston in 1783 emphasizing the necessity of an independent America prudently making its way in the world and the wisdom of avoiding entangling alliances.
  • The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records.

    They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased.”

    —Alexander Hamilton
  • Our Constitution represents the work of the finger of Almighty God.”

    —President James Madison
  • The future and success of America is not in this Constitution,

    but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”

    —President James Madison
  • We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government;

    far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

    —President James Madison
  • Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

    —Benjamin Franklin
  • When governments fear the people, there is liberty.

    When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

    —Thomas Jefferson
  • …I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    —Thomas Jefferson
  • Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven,

    can never be expected on a nation that disregards the internal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained. And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

    —President George Washington, First Inaugural Address
  • It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the universe to defend the case of the United American States,

    and finally to raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our liberty and independence upon a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness, and celebrating the important event, which we owe to His divine interposition.”

    —George Washington
  • Live free or die:

    Death is not the worst of evils.”

    —General John Stark’s toast, delivered via letter, to a group of veterans attending a reunion on July 31,1809 commemorating the Battle of Bennington
  • One can be independent anywhere provided one is noble in thought, judgment, and of heart.”

    —Thaddeus Kosciuszko
  • The eyes of the virtuous, all over the earth,

    are turned with anxiety on us, as the only depositories of the sacred fire of liberty, and that our falling into anarchy would decide forever the destinies of mankind, and seal the political heresy that man is incapable of self-government.”

    —Thomas Jefferson, 1811
  • The destiny of republican government is staked on

    the vigilance of the American people to tend the sacred fire of liberty.”

    —President James Madison
  • Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

    America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    —Alexis de Tocqueville
  • The happiness of America is intimately connected with the happiness of all mankind;

    she is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and quality and of peaceful liberty.”

    —Marquis De Lafayette
  • Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to

    preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.”

    —John Adams
  • For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?”

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

    —Frederick Douglas
  • The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.”

    —Frederick Douglas
  • Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God

    has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where.”

    —Abraham Lincoln
  • I have been driven many times upon my knees

    by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient.”

    —Abraham Lincoln
  • Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause.

    Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

    —Abraham Lincoln
  • Through their deeds, the dead of battle have spoken

    more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. But we can only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion.”

    —Abraham Lincoln
  • With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,

    let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”

    —Abraham Lincoln
  • Our great modern Republic.

    May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.”

    —General U.S. Grant
  • To you from failing hands we throw…The torch;

    be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die. We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”

    —poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., May 3, 1915, Second Battle of Ypres, Flanders, Belgium
  • The destiny of America was proclaimed in words of prophecy spoken by our first President in his first inaugural in 1789.

    If we lose that sacred fire – – if we let it be smothered with doubt and fear — then we shall reject the destiny which Washington strove so valiantly and so triumphantly to establish. The preservation of the spirit and faith of the nation does, and will, furnish the highest justification for every sacrifice that we may make…[i]n the face of great perils never before encountered, our strong purpose is to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy. For this we muster the spirit of America, and the faith of America. We do not retreat. We are not content to stand still. As Americans, we go forward, in the service of our country, by the will of God.”

    —FDR, Third Inaugural Address, January 20, 1941
  • Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

    You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you…[I] have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle…The free men of the world are marching together to victory! We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

    —Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, June 6, 1944
  • Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer.

    But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.”

    —President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944 following the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day
  • Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor,

    a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.”

    —President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944 following the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day
  • And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men

    overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.”

    —President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944 following the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day
  • And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons;

    Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose. With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”

    —President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944 following the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day
  • Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness…

    [G]raciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.”

    —General George S. Patton, Jr., Commander, Third U.S. Army (Patton’s prayer used during effort to rescue 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne)
  • Up to now, in the Third Army, God has been very good to us.

    We have never retreated; we have suffered no defeats, no famine, no epidemics. This is because a lot of people back home are praying for us. We were lucky in Africa, in Sicily, and in Italy. Simply because people prayed. But we have to pray for ourselves, too. A good soldier is not made merely by making him think and work. There is something in every soldier that goes deeper than thinking or working—it’s his ‘guts.’ It is something that he has built in there: it is a world of truth and power that is higher than himself. Great living is not all output of thought and work. A man has to have intake as well. I don’t know what you call it, but I call it religion, prayer, or God.”

    —General George S. Patton, Jr. to Monsignor James H. O’Neill, Chaplain, Third U.S. Army
  • Chaplain, I am a strong believer in prayer.

    There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that’s working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything. That’s where prayer comes in.”

    —General George S. Patton, Jr. to Monsignor James H. O’Neill, Chaplain, Third U.S. Army
  • Duty, Honor, Country.

    Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”

    —General Douglas MacArthur
  • History does not long entrust

    the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”

    —President Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength,

    and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.”

    —President Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Freedom lies in being bold.”

    —Robert Frost
  • For of those to whom much is given,

    much is required.”

  • And so, my fellow Americans:

    ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

    —President John F. Kennedy
  • And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought

    are still at issue around the globe – the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

  • Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike,

    that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world… Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

  • The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it.

    And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”

    —President John F. Kennedy
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    —Margaret Mead
  • Nothing else in the world…not all the armies…is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

    —Victor Hugo, The Future of Man
  • I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world.

    This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.”

    —MLK, Jr.
  • The time is always right to do what is right.”

    —MLK, Jr.
  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

    Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…[L]ove is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”

    —MLK, Jr.
  • The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort,

    but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy…[I]f a man has not discovered something that he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live.”

    —MLK, Jr.
  • The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    —MLK, Jr.
  • No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world,

    is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

    —President Ronald Reagan
  • The torch of liberty is hot;

    warms those who hold it high; burns those who try to extinguish it.”

    —President Ronald Reagan
  • Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”

    —Ronald Reagan

“Victory or Death” was the countersign for the troops for the attack on Trenton on Christmas Day night, December 25 – 26, 1776 (“Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware”).

During a punishing winter storm – believed to be a nor-easter – that included high winds, freezing rain, and blinding snow, more than 2,400 soldiers,18 cannons, and 75-100 horses crossed the Delaware and latched a surprise attack on Trenton and captured 896 Hessians and killed 22. Three Americans were killed and six wounded. This stirring victory helped to bolster the morale and resolve of the poorly equipped, hungry, and suffering American Army.

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