- (Not really original but...) Eisenhower's D-Day speech was something special.
- Queen Elizabeth's Tilbury Speech during the Spanish Armada (We won't talk about the hack job those Cate Blanchett films did to history)
- Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
The secret I think was they were all relatively short (especially Lincoln's!) and to the point. I do like the story surrounding the delivery of the Gettysburg address:
- that it was alright at the time that the current US President's remarks were only considered to be secondary item on the agenda at an event; and
- that the main feature before him bored the pants off the audience for two whole hours only for Lincoln's two minutes directly following to have far greater impact on the crowd and history. It summed up the reason for fighting the war to the bitter end far better than the two hour ordeal.
"We Shall fight them on the Beaches" etc is the one that always makes my (non-existant ) hair stand on end. Considering the dire situation Britain was facing, the fact that Churchill - and the country - could VERY clearly remember the deprivations and suffering of The Great War this was a astonishingly inspiring, determined and inspirational speech to a country that had seen the largest military nation in Europe humbled in a few weeks was looking at a CONTINENT conquered or united against it and facing a determined enemy who seemed to hold all the cards.
As an aside, my father remembers this speech clearly - the only other one he remembers is the VE-Day one - one of his brothers was missing in France and the other had just shipped somewhere at short notice so he was aware of the cost of the war so far. He remembers a quiet determination to not stop fighting come what may and a determination to Carry On.
Hmmm that could be due to the English (language) centric nature of this site.
OTOH we can be very victor inclined as well. (Hee- hee I'm so surprised Zinzan's managed to make this quite so ....... diplomatic. This could be such a "Flame War Signposted fuel tank" of a post/subject. I'm genuinely surprised he been sensible enough not to post anything more "provocative". I know how he likes to set fire to the world - "just to see the pretty flames" :)