Douglas MacArthur was born Jan. 26, 1880.
He commanded in France during World War I.
He was superintendent of West Point, 1919-20.
In 1930, at age 50, Douglas MacArthur became the youngest Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
A four-star general, he retired in 1939, but returned in 1941 to defend the Philippines.
When Japan invaded, President Roosevelt ordered him to Australia. MacArthur left, but not before promising “I shall return.”
When General MacArthur heard of the 10,000 Filipino and American prisoners who died on the Bataan Death March, he stated, April 9, 1942: “To the weeping mothers of its dead, I can only say that the sacrifice and halo of Jesus of Nazareth has descended upon their sons, and that God will take them unto Himself.”
On Oct. 20, 1944, General MacArthur returned with an American army and freed the Philippines, stating: “People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil – soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come, dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control. … The hour of your redemption is here. … Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on. … Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of Divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”
In a radio speech broadcast from the invasion beach on returning to the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur stated, Oct. 20, 1944: “Strike at every favorable opportunity. For your homes and hearths,
strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! In the name of your sacred dead, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of Divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”
General Douglas MacArthur stated: “In war, when a commander becomes so bereft of reason and perspective that he fails to understand the dependence of arms on Divine guidance, he no longer deserves victory.”
Promoted to Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, he received Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.
After the World War II ended, General Douglas MacArthur suggested that Youth for Christ representatives and other missionary groups go to Japan to “provide the surest foundation for the firm establishment of democracy.”
Promoted to five-star general, he was Supreme U.N. Commander during the beginning of the Korean War, making a daring landing of troops deep behind enemy lines at Inchon and recapturing Seoul.
MacArthur became at odds with President Truman, who did not want to confront the communists, so Truman made the unpopular decision to remove him.
On April 19, 1951, following his tour of Korea, General Douglas MacArthur spoke to a Joint Session of Congress to announce his retirement: “I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the Plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day, which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And, like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who has tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye.”
Douglas MacArthur told West Point cadets, May 1962: “The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training-sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.”
On Jan. 18, 1955, a monument was dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur at the occasion of his 75th birthday, which had inscribed his statement: “Battles are not won by arms alone. There must exist above all else a spiritual impulse – a will to victory. In war there can be no substitute for victory.”
In 1942, General Douglas MacArthur was named Father of the Year. He stated: “By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder – infinitely prouder – to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, ‘Our Father Who Art in Heaven.'”
General Douglas MacArthur composed “A Father’s Prayer” in the early days of World War II while in the Pacific: “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee – and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.”
General MacArthur continued: “Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength. Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, ‘I have not lived in vain.'”
General Douglas MacArthur warned in a speech to the Salvation Army, Dec. 12, 1951, stating: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
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