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The Meaning of Their Service

A retired four-star Marine Corps general on the clarifying effect of combat experience, the poison of cynicism and how veterans can help revive American optimism.

April 17, 2015 6:47 p.m. ET
This article was adapted from remarks for the fourth annual salute to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco on April 16:

Our country gives hope to millions around the world, and you—who knew that at one time your job was to fight well—kept that hope alive. By your service you made clear your choice about what kind of world we want for our children: The world of violent jihadist terrorists, or one defined by Abraham Lincoln when he advised us to listen to our better angels?

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