Why I love the United States Marine Corps:
"When I give you the word, together we will cross the Line of Departure, close with those forces that choose to fight, and destroy them. Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression. . . ..
"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each other as we enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit."
Maj. Gen. J. Mattis, commander, 1 Marine
There is probably no other institution on earth that honestly and completely accepts chivalry as an operating principle. The USMC still believes in it, though, with a whole heart. Believing, they bring it back into the world, and make it real again. Today I toast them: it's all I can do. Another day, if Fate smiles, I may do more.