“I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flincked under the strain of last week…but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences. They should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road. They should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history…and that terrible words have for the time being keen pronounced against the Western democracies: ‘Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.’ And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup, which will he proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial value we arise again and take our stand for freedom, as in the olden time.
—WSC, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 5 OCTOBER 1938
The White House, Washington
Dear Mr. President,
The prayers of thousands of members of The Churchill Center and Societies throughout the world are with you and your administration at this time.
In your own speeches you said that “just as Churchill defined the moral issues of the 1930s and 1940s, he also defined the great moral challenge up to our own times.” It is our fervent wish that the words and actions of Sir Winston Churchill, whose bust observes your deliberations in the Oval Office, will provide comfort and inspiration.
Commanders cannot know outcomes—only choices. But these words of Sir Winston provide a beacon for making those choices.
• “The price of greatness is responsibility. One cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its organics, and inspired by its causes. “
• “The soul of freedom is deathless; it cannot and will not perish.”
• “I have no fear of the future. Let us go forward into its mysteries, let us tear aside the veils which hide it from our eyes and let us move onward with confidence and courage.”
Sir Winston Churchill was always confident that the great democracies would prevail in the fight against tyranny and terror, whatever the price might be. We share his confidence in offering our support and encouragement to you at this great moral challenge to our own times.
JOHN G. PLUMPTON,
PRESIDENT, THE CHURCHILL CENTER
Some have asked whether we will hold our scheduled conference in San Diego in November. My answer is yes; most emphatically YES!
It is sadly ironic that we will soon be meeting again to refresh the legacy of a man who so dramatically personified the indomitable spirit that those in the civilized world are now being called upon to exhibit for themselves. During the Blitz, Churchill was asked if works of art should be spirited away for safekeeping and whether bombed out theatres should be boarded up. After deploring any idea that Londoners should “scuttle,” as he called it, he reminded his colleagues that culture and the arts are what makes life worth living—that to forsake the normal routine would be an admission that the enemy had won.
By gathering undaunted in San Diego, we will reaffirm that resolute defiance of murderous barbarism which history will always associate with Winston Spencer Churchill.
WILLIAM C. IVES,
VICE PRESIDENT, THE CHURCHILL CENTER
I am calling to say that our thoughts and prayers are with you and with all Americans in this very devastating time in history and that I hope you and yours are all well and were not somehow affected.
RANDY BARBER, PRESIDENT, ICS CANADA
Everyone in the UK is shattered by this ghastly attack. The quote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never; in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense” is appropriate. Ironically, our committee were meeting in the Cabinet War Rooms when the news broke.
NIGEL KNOCKER, CHAIRMAN, ICS UK
We are all very shocked at today’s events and send you our sympathies.
PAUL H. COURTENAY, HON. SECRETARY, ICS UK
We are thinking of you all in Hopkinton at this dreadful time in our history. We pray that you were not in New York on Tuesday.
Our hearts, and those of the British people with whom the United States has enjoyed so rich and rewarding an alliance through the years, go out to you now. We are angered and immensely saddened by these atrocious acts. You will have the love and support of the citizens of the United Kingdom.
VALERIE AND CRAIG BROWN, SURREY, UK
Many thanks for all these and so many more kind thoughts from abroad. There was a lump in my throat watching the Royal Marines play ” The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Isn’t it amazing how Sir Winston Churchill’s words on events that occurred so long ago could remain so relevant to what has happened this week. We are all in total shock in this part of the world, and the warm feelings, support and sorrow for America are being expressed in every form of the media here and by the people.
IAN STEELE, CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
Everyone here knows, and has known for a century, that we can always count on Australia, in good times and bad.
Like the rest of the world, except in the abodes of the barbarians, I am so sorry for the calamity that has befallen your country. It may be noted that a large number of Indian losses are included in these murders. We already have a fair share in the grief and loss. May God give you and your compatriots courage to withstand it all.
INDER DAN RATNU, JAIPUR, INDIA
I was terribly shocked at TV news of America under terrorist’s unbelievable attack. Many people in Japan think that U.S.A. should take the military actions to cross out terrorists and their supporter’s networks, with very prudent preparations.
KIYOSHIIGUCHI, YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
Your kind sentiments are much appreciated. Please know that, while many initially compared this event to Pearl Harbor, they were quickly reminded that the latter was a military attack which avoided civilian targets.. Likewise encouraging were the warnings by leaders not to repeat the mistake of indiscriminately arresting Arab-Americans as were Japanese-Americans in 1942. Nevertheless Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto’s words after Pearl Harbor are widely quoted: “We have awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
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