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President George Washington

“If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”

“It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.”

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.”

“War – An act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will.”

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

“When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.”

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”

“Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

“It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.”

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

“Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government.”

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.”

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”

“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”
(The closing paragraph in a letter to the governors of the 13 states upon his retirement from command of the Continental Army)

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