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Citadel News Service
24 Feb 2006

Romney describes heroes

What is a hero? Heroism is about taking risks, Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney told the Corps of Cadets today in a Greater Issues Address in McAlister Field House.

“I believe that heroes are more needed in America today than perhaps any time in our nation’s history, and you have the opportunity to fill that vital need,” said Romney.

Romney outlined four major challenges the country faces today for which heroes are needed. The first was an attack from Jihadists, who are committed to overthrowing the American government and sabotaging the economy.

“Thank heavens,” he said, “we have a president who understands the nature and extent of this threat. Thank heavens we have a president who recognizes that the best friend for those people who would seek peace is a strong United States of America. And thank heavens we have the bravest, most patriotic fighting men and women in the world.”

The second problem that he discussed was financial. “We’re spending too much as a nation, and not just on pork barrel projects—entitlement programs are overwhelming us.”

The third problem is an economic challenge. “We’re losing jobs to Asia,” he said.

Fifteen years ago, he said, the U.S. produced 4,700 graduates a year with PhDs in math and physical science. Countries around the world combined together produced the same number. Today, U.S. graduates have dropped to 4,400, while around the world the number has escalated to 24,900.

“We need to raise the bar on education,” said Romney, “particularly in areas of math and science. We need to invest more in technology.”

The fourth challenge Romney discussed was a cultural challenge.

“If you look at what has made the United States of America the greatest and most powerful economy and military force in the world, I believe it relates to our culture.… There are a number of things that I think define us. One is we love liberty. We love opportunity. We’re willing to work hard as you do here. We’re a people of faith. We don’t all believe in God, but we all almost believe in a purpose greater than ourselves.… We have respect for human life. We recognize that the family is the foundation of our society. All of these principles are under attack or under challenge in different places in our country at different times, but they’re so essential to our preservation that we have to defend them.”

Romney ended his speech by saluting The Citadel’s fallen grads. “I recognize,” he said, “why this nation will always rise to the occasion, why we will remain the most powerful nation upon the earth and help preserve the peace of the earth. It is because of men like Marine 2nd Lt. Almar Fitzgerald from this institution and the eleven whose names appear next to the chapel. It is because of their sacrifice, their love of liberty, their love of faith, their love of these institutions that we have the nation we have. Thank you, cadets, for your service, for your willingness to consider education, heroism, and your commitment to the United States of America.”

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