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  Summary.   We all have favorite quotes and here are some of mine.  I will add to this page as I find new quotes or remember an old one.  We need to be careful, though, when we deal with quotations.

First, we need to avoid a "bumper sticker" approach to things.  Life is too complicated to be reduced to a few sound bites, quotes, and whatever will fit on to a bumper sticker.

Second, we need to recognize that quotes were made in context and we must be careful to apply a quote in the same context from which it came.

Finally, if we are going to quote, we need to get it right.

So, with all that philosophy dispensed, let's get on with it.  Listed below are some of the quotes that I like.


"Leap and the net will appear."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

" The best things in life are not things."
I saw this one on a T-shirt worn by a high school student who was working on a summer mission project in Buchanan County, Virginia.

"Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional."
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami.
 

"Freedom's just another word
for nothing left to lose. . ."
Me and Bobby McGee, by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster
(My favorite version of this song is by Janis Joplin.)
 

"Tell the truth.  There is less to remember."
 Not certain where this one came from.

"The question is not if we should be extremists,
but what type of extremists we should be."
Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter From Birmingham Jail"

"As night does not come at once, neither does
oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight
when everything remains unchanged. And it is in that
twilight that we must be most aware of the change in
the air, however slight; lest we become unwitting
victims of the darkness."
-
US Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
 

"The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Theodore Parker, 1810 - 1860

"The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn't just one of your holiday games;
. . . "
From "The Naming of Cats", in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T. S. Eliot.
 

"Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines -- you are forced into direct experience.  Such direct experience inevitably makes it aware of who it is that is having the experience.  That is not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating."
Michael Crichton
 

"There is but one race, the human race, and we are all made in God's image."
Joe Schlatter

"He was a hard-headed man,
He was brutally handsome.
She was terminally pretty . . ."
The Eagles, Life in the Fast Lane

"The finger that points to the moon
is not the moon."
If anyone knows the original source of this quote, please let me know.

"But let justice roll on like a river,
        righteousness like a never-failing stream."

Amos 5:14
 

"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."
Last words of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Lt. General, CSA

"What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?"
George Eliot

". . . Oh, my children, where air (are) we going on this mighty river of earth, a-borning,
begetting, and a-dying -- the living and the dead riding the waters?  Where air (are)
it sweeping us?"
Quoted from sermon by Brother Sam Mobberly
River of Earth, James Still

"And I've been walking 'round with memories way too long . . . "
Iris Dement, "Letter to Mom"
 

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother."
Shakespeare, Henry V, IV, iii, 40
   

"If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
M. L. King, Jr.
 

"You can check out any time you want --
But you can never leave. . ."
The Eagles, Hotel California

"War is at best barbarism. . . . Its glory is  all moonshine.  It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.  War is hell."
William T. Sherman
 

"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it."
Robert E. Lee
 

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Martin Niemoeller(1892-1984)

"Our chiefs are killed. . . .  The old men are all dead. . . .  The little children are freezing to death.  My people, some of them have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food.  No one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death.  I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find.  Maybe I can find them among the dead.  Hear me, my chiefs.  My heart is sick and sad.  From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, October, 1877
   
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
     -Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)
 
"I've seed  de first en de last. . . .  I seed de beginnin, en now I sees de endin."
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, April Eighth, 1928


  "Then together they spent the afternoon going quietly and unhurriedly about the grazing meadows and the planting or harvesting fields and the peaceful woodlands in their dreaming seasonal mutations -- the man on his horse and the ticked setter gravely beside him, while the descending evening of their lives drew toward its peaceful close upon the kind land that had bred them both."
William Faulkner, Flags In The Dust

"He chewed his tobacco for a time, quietly retrospective, reliving in the company of men now dust with the dust for which they had, unwittingly perhaps, fought, those gallant, pinch-bellied days into which few who now trod that earth and drew breath, could enter with him."
William Faulkner, Flags In The Dust


"But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them . . ."
Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle
 

"We all went up to Gettysburg, the summer of '63;
and some of us came back from there;
and that's all except the details. "

Praxiteles Swan, Captain, Confederate States Army.
(Note:  "Praxiteles Swan, Captain, CSA," is a fictional character in a book titled
Lone Star Preacher: Being a Chronicle of the Acts of Praxiteles Swan, M.E. Church South Sometime Captain, 5th Texas Regiment Confederate States Provisional Army by Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr., USMC, a veteran of the First World War, and grandson of Captain Thomas J. Goree, a member of Confederate General James Longstreet's staff.)

"Call me Ishmael."

. . .

". . . then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.  . . .

 "It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
 

". . . , whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."     
Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth
 

"And the three men I admire the most -- the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost --
They took the last train for the coast,
The day the music died. . ."
Don McLean, American Pie
 

"Why's the rich man busy dancin'
While the poor man pays the band. . ."

                          Travis Tritt, Lord have Mercy on the Workin' Man

"Do or do not, there is no try."
Yoda

"Buzzards got to eat, same as the worms."
Clint Eastwood, "The Outlaw Josie Wales"

"Wanderers are not always lost."
Sticker on the side of a guitar case, Knox County, Kentucky.


 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
       because he has anointed me
       to preach good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
       and recovery of sight for the blind,
   to release the oppressed;"

Luke, Chapter 4, Verse 18


"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
The tribute paid by Adlai Stevenson to Eleanor Roosevelt when the former First Lady died in November 1962 was: "She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world."  I have also heard that this quote is a Chinese proverb that was quoted by Peter Benenson, the founder of Amnesty International, at a Human Rights Day ceremony on 10 December 1961 and provided Amnesty International with its symbol of a burning candle encircled by barbed wire.  If anyone knows the Chinese characters for this proverb, please e-mail the Chinese to me.  Thank you

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, 
and to walk humbly with your God"
Micah 6:8

"In This Universe The Night was Falling, The Shadows were lengthening
towards an east that would not know another dawn.
But elsewhere the Stars were still young and the light of morning lingered: and
along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again.
"
Arthur C. Clarke, The City & The Stars

"There's a black man dead for no reason. Now the man responsible for it is dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time Mr. Finch. I never heard tell it was against the law for any citizen to do his utmost to prevent a crime from being committed, which is exactly what he did. But maybe you'll tell me it's my duty to tell the town all about it and not to hush it up. Well you know what'll happen then? All the ladies in Maycomb including my wife will be knocking on his door bringing angel food cakes. To my way of thinking, taking the one man who's done you and this town a big service and dragging him with his shy ways into the limelight - to me that's a sin... it's a sin. And I'm not about to have it on my head. I may not be much Mr. Finch, but I'm still sheriff of Maycomb County and Bob Ewell fell on his knife. Good night sir. "
Sheriff Heck Tate, To Kill A Mockingbird
 

From To Kill A Mockingbird
Miss Maudie Atkinson: Jem.
Jem:  Yes Ma'am?
Miss Maudie Atkinson: I don't know if it will help saying this to you... some men in this world are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us... your father is one of them.

"I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted - if I could hit 'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird. Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us. "
Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

"Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago."
Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory

"And when that happens, I know it. A message saying so merely confirms a piece of news some secret vein had already received, severing from me an irreplaceable part of myself, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string. That is why, walking across a school campus on this particular December morning, I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying toward heaven. "
Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory

" Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldiers salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry" -- the marching salute. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and. downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual -- honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead! "
Joshua Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies; An Account of the Final Campaign of the Army of the Potomac, Based Upon Personal Reminiscences of the Fifth Army Corps

 

"I don't know the answer to nothing, not a blessed thing. I don't know why I wandered out to this part of Texas drunk and you took me in and pitied me and helped me to straighten out, marry me. Why? Why did that happen? Is there a reason that happened? And Sonny's Daddy died in a war. My daughter killed in an automobile accident. Why? You see I don't trust happiness. I never did. I never will."
-- Mac Sledge, Robert Duvall's character in the movie Tender Mercies


April 12 was the appointed day for the formal surrender of the last and largest component of the Army of Northern Virginia, the infantry.  Before leaving Appomattox, U.S. Grant appointed General Joshua Chamberlain of Maine to receive the surrender on behalf of the Union army giving him instruction that "the ceremony to be as simple as possible, and that nothing should be done to humiliate the manhood of the Southern soldiers".

Chamberlain, one of the many heroes of Gettysburg, received a battlefield promotion to General at Petersburg in June 1864 after receiving a wound that was thought to be fatal.  It did indeed prove so, but not until 1914 when he suffered an infection related to the wound and was treated by the same doctor who had saved his life fifty years before .
To conduct the Confederate surrender Lee selected General John B Gordon of Georgia, one of his best division commanders (and later to be Senator and Governor in Georgia, along with possibly being one of the leaders of the newly-formed Klu Klux Klan).

The final ceremony began at 6 A.M. and it took nearly ten hours for all the Confederates to march by and stack arms.  General Joshua Chamberlain, in his memoirs titled The Passing of the Armies, describes the scene:
 
It was now the morning of the 12th of April . . .

We formed . . .  to face the last line of battle, and receive the last remnant of the arms and colors of that great army ours had been created to confront for all that death can do to life.  We were remnants also . . . veterans, and replaced veterans; cut to pieces, cut down, consolidated, divisions into brigades . . . men of near blood born, made nearer by blood shed.  Those facing us - now thank God, the same.

Our earnest eyes scan the busy groups on the opposite slopes, breaking camp for the last time - taking down their little shelter-tents and folding them carefully, as precious things, then slowly forming ranks as for unwelcome duty.  And now they move.  The dusky swarms forge forward into gray columns of march.  On they come, with the old swinging route step, and swaying battle-flags.

. . . when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier's salutation, - from the "order arms" to the old "carry" - the marching salute.  Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sounds of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of manual, honor answering honor.  On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order; but an awed stillness rather and breath-holding as if it were the passing of the dead!

 


  Come back from time to time to see what I've added to this page.

 

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