Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Arrival at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Rhode Island.

March 12, 1971

I REMEMBER as I stand here and look at Quonset Point that it was 29 years ago that I left this base. Then I was a lieutenant, junior grade. And, incidentally, that was a very low form of life in the Navy in those days. Don't have any ideas--I see a lot of enlisted men around here--that lieutenant, junior grades, or ensigns or, for that matter, lieutenants run the Navy-the chiefs run the Navy. They did then, and I think they do now.

But whatever the case may be, I want you to know that looking back on those years I remember the 2 months--and it was a months' course that we took just before World War II--that I spent here at Quonset Point.

I remember, too, how very friendly the people in this area were, the people of Providence, on those few times that we got into town.

I recall, too, that that service, while at the tinge it appeared to be rather time taken out of life, that I made friends then, I perhaps learned things that have meant something to me all the rest of my life.

I know that when you are young and when you find that your career seems to be interfered with by having to be in the armed services, you may think these are the lost years. Don't you believe it.

This is a great country, and it is great because we have men like you who serve this country to maintain the peace forces of the United States.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:37 a.m.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Arrival at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Rhode Island. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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