Thank you, General Weyand, for your wonderful remarks and, even more importantly, for your lifetime of service to the United States.
Governor Cayetano; Secretary Perry; Admiral Macke; Secretary Brown; General Shalikashvili; distinguished guests, especially our friends and as good a friends the veterans of the United States have ever had, Bob and Dolores Hope; the honored veterans of World War II; your families, your friends; ladies and gentlemen: As we gather to celebrate the end of a war that engulfed the world, I ask your leave to say a few words about recent developments in the prospects for peace in troubled Bosnia. Just a couple of hours ago, we were able to announce that the Foreign Ministers of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia have agreed to meet late next week in Geneva to try to reach agreement on the basic principles of a settlement for peace.
This is a positive step forward, but much remains to be done. Our own negotiating team will continue its work to bring the parties together. And as I said yesterday, no one should doubt NATO's resolve to prevent the further slaughter of innocent civilians in Sarajevo and the other safe areas in Bosnia.
I know that every American shares my pride in the skill and professionalism, the bravery, and the success of our pilots and crews and their NATO colleagues in the last few days. They are a shining example of the point that General Weyand just made.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this remarkable place, so much like Paradise, we recall when war made the idyllic Pacific hell on Earth. And we celebrate the generation of Americans who won that war and ensured the triumph of freedom over tyranny. Never before had the fight for freedom stretched across such a vast expanse of land and sea. And never before had the energies of the American people been so fully required or so fully joined.
At war, our people found a sense of mission in the world and shared purpose at home that became the bedrock for half a century of peace and prosperity. The World War II generation truly saved the world. Our security, our prosperity, our standing among other nations, all these are the legacy of the men and women, the heroes before us who we honor today.
Of course, today we can hardly imagine history taking a different turn. But when the Japanese Zeroes rounded those mountains and cut to pieces hundreds of aircraft here at Hickam and Kaneohe, when they then devastated the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, there was nothing inevitable about America's victory. As Asia fell to tyranny and fascism held sway from the Russian heartland all the way to the English Channel, free people everywhere must have stood in some doubt.
In the Philippines, our forces fought valiantly, making their final stand in Bataan and Corregidor. To this very day you can feel the memory of courage that hangs over the rock of Corregidor, as I had the privilege of doing last November when we commemorated the Pacific war in the Philippines. But the brave Filipino and American defenders could not hold out. After determined resistance, months of sickness and hunger, a massive artillery bombardment turned the sky to lead, and freedom's foothold there was lost.
President Roosevelt likened that time to the winter at Valley Forge, when our troops ran on courage and determination. Then, the enemy believed Americans would not sacrifice and fight on remote islands they had never heard of. But they were wrong.
Enlistment offices were flooded by A ...
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