Where Are The Great Orators?

Edmonton - Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton
  Words, especially great words, have the capacity to present before us a vision of what could be, to inspire us and touch our emotions in such a way that we might act to transform the dream into reality. History presents us with many examples how such words can buttress our resolve and open our hearts, to rally a people to a cause or to further that endeavour to even greater heights.




From an island fortress, facing across the English Channel and a continent that had passed into the dark shadows of Nazi tyranny, Winston Churchill personified the spirit of John Bull. As he became Prime Minister, his government had just one aim.


"Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."



With his nation divided, in the midst of a great civil war, Abraham Lincoln held steadfast to his mission to keep his country together and to fulfill


"the proposition that all men are created equal."


In dedicating the cemetery to those who fell at Gettysburg,
"we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation,under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."




War comes in many forms, being nation against nation or to combat the misery suffered by those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was one such warrior, who sacrificed the material for the spiritual.


"I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?"


A century after his country banned slavery, Martin Luther King spoke from the mountain top, saw the promised land, and dreamed
"that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."


To hear an entire sixteen minute speech, given at the Washington demonstration, "I have a dream" click on the arrow

  I also have a dream. I dream of a Canadian leader, with ideas worth sharing and a cause worth doing, who can express it all with an eloquence to inspire me to want to move heaven and earth to help him get there. In preparing the plans that might benefit a nation, no leader can afford to overlook the use of those vital words that motivate and inspire the troops and attract the new recruits essential in making it all happen.




Ron Thornton

  Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) <http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/britain/winston-churchill.html> British Prime Minister
  Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/al16.html> American President
  Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997) <http://almaz.com/nobel/peace/1979a.html> Macadonian-born Humanitarian
  Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) <http://www.thekingcenter.org/mlk/bio.html> American Civil Rights Leader



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