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Remarks of Vice President Nixon, Iolani Palace Steps, Honolulu, HI

August 03, 1960

Vice President NIXON. Bill, Jimmy, and all of you in Hawaii, this is certainly a very great moment for us to stand on the steps of this historical palace to greet so many people on this beautiful day and I can only say in answer to what the Governor of Hawaii said in introducing me and Pat that as we come here for our first visit to a State other than the one she was born in and the one I was born in, California - for the first visit to the State in what will be a long campaign, the new State of Hawaii, we know that there will be other great moments but none that will exceed the welcome that we have had in Hawaii and we thank you for that. [Applause.]

I am particularly honored that we had the opportunity to go to the throne room and for a few moments to understand, to appreciate the culture, the tradition, the history of this State.

I know sometimes these days we hear that all that sort of thing does not mean very much. We hear that we should only think of the future or the present and forget the past because those things that are in the past simply hold us back.

Let me say that certainly in this great new State as in my State of California and Pat's State of Nevada as well as in our whole country, while in our Nation we are a progressive people, that we should never forget that true progress, the greatest progress, is built on the sound foundation of what our fathers have left us, in the tradition that we received it, and it is well for us to be reminded of those traditions, to be reminded of them on such an occasion as this, and for that reason I appreciate this opportunity to spend these few moments here to go over the background of this State, the traditions of which the people of this new State can be immensely proud.

If I could, in a moment, relate back to our present situation in the world, I would like to say that we think of the contests in which we are engaged in the Communist world as being one primarily of the strength of our arms, the strength of our economy, and most of those, of course, are immensely important and absolutely essential, but we must also remember that above all the contest in which we are engaged today, the contest that we, the people of the United States, what we do, will result in what comes out of these years ahead, but above all it is a test not just of arms and not just of economic strength, it is a test of faith. It is a test of what we believe. It is a test of how deeply we believe in the ideals that have made America great.

And sometimes when we hear that we should not have so much talk about patriotism in the old jingoistic sense, sometimes when we hear Fourth of July oratory downgraded in school or other in speaking of something of the past, just let me say this: I have seen those who represent the Communists around the world. Their law, in my opinion, as far as their belief is concerned, their ideas that they would impose upon us and other people would be slavery to all the world. But there is one thing you have to give them credit for: They believe. You see that belief in their eyes, and you hear it in their voices, and you feel it as you meet them and debate them in the great problems of the world.

And, my friends, here in Hawaii we Americans must believe because we have something great to believe in, something that is for the whole world because freedom belongs not to just us alone, not to just those who agree with us. But we must believe that freedom must grow and we must work for the victory of freedom for all people just as the Communists are working for the victory of communism. [Applause.]

I say, finally, today that when we hear, if we do, that there are dangers all over the United States from some charge that our military are second place, that our economy is second rate, that our scientists are a failure, that our education is not as good as that in other lands, let me say that true patriotism and true loyalty must be critical of our country insofar as criticism is justified because whenever there is anything wrong with the country we want to correct it and make it better. But when we criticize the things that are wrong, let's never forget the things that are right and let's not forget that America today is the strongest nation in the world militarily; that they are the strongest nation [applause] in the world economically; but most of all, let's never forget that our ideals, the ones that come from our bodies, our ideals that are immortal and they belong not only to us but to all mankind, let's have faith, let's never let history record that this battle was lost, if it is lost, and I don't believe it will be, not because we were weak economically but because we were weak in our faith. So may I say, Governor, again, the moment is this when we have been able to favor the tradition, the culture, the history of this beautiful new State, it is one that makes us realize and look to our past, a proud past, a great State, a great ideal, and I can only add what I said at the airport, that Hawaii brings to the United States a great lesson which the United States must carry to all the world.

We want freedom for the world but we want it without a war. We want victory without war, and that means we must have peace and to have peace we must have understanding and the way to convey understanding to the world is by our example here.

There is no better understanding in the world, no better example of understanding than in Hawaii.

How to live together and how to work together, how here you have a shining example of equality of opportunity for all and recognition of the dignity of man regardless of what his background may be.

It is that example which we need because I have traveled the world and I know there is nothing harder to explain abroad than the * * * and to have somebody point to the practice of anybody at home, and Hawaii gives us the finest example of that in that respect. So I conclude by saying, Hawaii, our 50th and newest State brings to America understanding at its best, recognition of the dignity and equality of man at its finest, and through you and through America, our message to the world as we work for peace with freedom will be the spirit of Aloha and that is where I leave you today.

Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Vice President Nixon, Iolani Palace Steps, Honolulu, HI Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project