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Secretary McNamara Speaks at Veterans Day Ceremonies

Nov. 11, 1962 - Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (right), honoring America’s war dead, pledged today to seek peace but called on the nation to adhere unflinchingly to three lessons of combat — strength, resolve, and restraint. Mr. McNamara spoke at the annual Veterans Day ceremonies at the amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery. Mr. McNamara said: “The first lesson is the lesson of strength. Two world wars have taught us that weakness, not strength, invites war in a world which is still only beginning to see the possibility of the rule of law. The second lesson is the lesson of resolve. We know that a nuclear holocaust would be a disaster of unimaginable proportions, but we know also that unless we are prepared to place everything at risk, we cannot hope to save anything from disaster. The third lesson is the lesson of restraint. Once we are prepared for a thermonuclear showdown, we can afford to use all our patience and all our ingenuity to avoid one — and we cannot afford to do otherwise.”

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