Tags: Presidential History | dwight eisenhower | wartime | quotes

Dwight Eisenhower Wartime Address Highlights: 5 Quotes From His Presidential Farewell Speech

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 03:23 PM

Long before serving two terms in the White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower made a name for himself as an army general guiding the United States to victory in World War II. With Eisenhower, wartime offered a chance to showcase leadership skills and strategic thinking that later aided him as the nation's 34th president.

Eisenhower's farewell address as U.S. president — given when Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union were escalating — remains his most famous wartime speech. He highlighted the dangers of the growing military-industrial complex and other issues facing the nation in his time. These five quotes drawn from Eisenhower's farewell address highlight why his concerns remain relevant many decades later.

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1. Striving for peace and progress is a hallmark of a free people.
"Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace, to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity, and integrity among peoples and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension, or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt, both at home and abroad."

2. Guard against excessive military-industrial complex influence.
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

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3. Do not let government or business interests limit invention and innovation.
"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded."

4. Avoid short-sighted decision-making.
"We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

5. All people deserve to taste freedom.
"We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings."

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Long before serving two terms in the White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower made a name for himself as an army general guiding the United States to victory in World War II. With Eisenhower, wartime offered a chance to showcase leadership skills and strategic thinking that later aided him as president.
dwight eisenhower, wartime, quotes
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2015-23-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 03:23 PM
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