Lt. Collins’ Flag Day Speech (from “The Sand Pebbles”)
“Today we begin cruising to show the flag on Tungting Lake and the Hunan Rivers. I want all honors rendered smartly.
At home in America, when today reaches them it will be Flag Day. For us who
wear the uniform every day is Flag Day.
It is said that there will be no more wars. We must pretend to believe that.
But when war comes, it is we who will take the first shock, and buy time with
our lives. It is we who keep the Faith…
We serve the Flag. The trade we all follow is the give and take of death.
It is for that purpose that the people of America maintain us. And anyone of
us who believes he has a job like any other, for which he draws a money wage, is a thief of the food he eats, and a trespasser in the bunk in which he lies down to sleep.”