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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really enjoy Henry V when he addressed his men in the famous Band of Brothers speech. I have a copy in mp3 format from Kenneth Branagh's stirring rendition, if anyone wants it.

I'm not sure whether Americans yet have anything to match Shakespeare, but here is my nomination:

[Scene - US Army platoon gathered in a hanger the night before graduation - determined to graduate despite absence of their drill instructor. One soldier speaks up.]

"Cut it out! Cut it out! The hell's the matter with you? Stupid!

We're all very different people, we're not Watusi, we're not Spartans...We're Americans, with a capital "A," huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're underdogs, we're mutts!...Here's proof: [soldier touches a comrade] his nose is cold....But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw 'Old Yeller?' Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot!?"

[hands are reluctantly raised]

"I cried my eyes out. So we're all dog faces, we're all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army. We're mutants, there's something wrong with us, there's something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us. We're soldiers, American soldiers! We've been kicking ass for 200 years, we're 10 and 1. Now we don't have to worry about whether or not we practiced. We don't have to worry about whether Captain Diller wants to have us hung. All we have to do-oo is to be the great American fighting soldier that is inside each one of us. Now do what I do, and say what I say. And make me proud."

--John Winger (Bill Murray), "Stripes"
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