• Creative Writing for ESL Learners
  • Introduction
  • Unit 1: Poetry
  • Unit 2: Plays
  • Unit 3: Short Stories
  • Unit 4: Speeches
  • Appendices
  • Download
  • Translations
  • U4 Speaking Practice

    Delivering a Speech

    Speeches are meant to be delivered through speaking. This is called delivering a speech. Speeches are organized to be easily understood and remembered by the listener.

    Generally, they will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Although this is similar to what you may have learned for essay writing, speeches are more flexible and do not follow a strict 5-paragraph structure. A 5-paragraph essay may have an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion, but a speech may not follow that pattern exactly. A speech will still have a main idea that is explained and supported with details. This main idea is often repeated at the beginning and the end of a speech. 

    5 Paragraph Essay Structure

    What is the order of the paragraphs?What is in the paragraph?
    Introduction Paragraph


    Background Information

    Thesis Statement

    Body Paragraph 1

    Topic Sentence

    Supporting Details

    Concluding Sentence

    Body Paragraph 2

    Topic Sentence

    Supporting Details

    Concluding Sentence

    Body Paragraph 3

    Topic Sentence

    Supporting Details

    Concluding Sentence

    Conclusion Paragraph

    Restated Thesis Statement

    Summary or Extension Sentences

    Concluding Sentence


    First Fireside Chat  [excerpt]

    by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


    an annotated image of the First Fireside Chat (excerpt) speech that shows the thesis statement boxed in dark red, the topic sentence of one paragraph boxed in bright red, the supporting details of one paragraph underlined in blue, and the summary or transition circled in yellow.

    In the example above, you can see how some elements of essay structure and paragraph structure are present in speeches. In this speech, President Roosevelt clearly states the main idea of the essay in a thesis statement. The thesis statement tells the main idea of the entire speech or essay. Unlike academic essays, it is okay to announce or say what you plan to talk about in a thesis statement. This tells the listener the main idea and usually hints at the topics that will be discussed in the speech so the listener can anticipate or know the order of the topics before they are discussed.

    You can also see an example of paragraph structure.  A paragraph may start with a topic sentence that says the main idea of a paragraph. Usually, the idea of the topic sentence will be one of the ideas mentioned in the thesis statement. President Roosevelt's thesis statement said he would discuss what happened in the last few days. This topic sentence is an important idea about what happens at banks which affects what had happened in the last few days. The "body paragraphs" explain the main ideas outlined in the thesis statement. Therefore the topic sentences should relate to the thesis statement in some way. In an academic essay, this is a very direct connection. In a speech, the connection might be looser. The topic sentence "First of all, let me state the simple fact that when you deposit money in a bank, the bank does not put the money into a safe deposit vault." doesn't seem to connect directly, but the next topic sentence "What, then, happened during the last few days of February and the first few days of March?" does connect directly. So, there may be some topic sentences that are more connected to the thesis statement than others. Also, some speeches may use more natural speech or storytelling. So, they may not use topic sentences sometimes or at all. 

    In the example, you can also see how the main idea from the topic sentence is developed. Supporting details are ideas, examples, facts, stories, etc. that explain more about the main idea of a topic sentence. These provide the listener with information. They can also be entertaining for the audience. 

    Finally, there is a concluding sentence which may be a conclusion you make based on the supporting details you gave, a summary of your main idea, or a transition to connect one paragraph's main idea to the next paragraph's main idea. In an academic essay, every body paragraph ends with a concluding sentence. However, in a speech, not all paragraphs need to end in a concluding sentence. Speakers will use concluding sentences to mark the end of sections though. For example, President Roosevelt talked for about two paragraphs about "what has been done in the last few days" before he moved on to the "steps" he did. He might use a concluding sentence to end the section about "what has been done" before beginning the next section on the "steps". 

    Overall the use of structure in a speech is more flexible. Your audience will appreciate the organization that thesis statements, topic sentences, supporting details, and concluding sentences give. However, you as a  speaker can choose how to include these in your speech. 

    How does this affect speaking?

    When you say a speech aloud, you should use pauses, volume, and body language to express the organization of your speech. You may want to pause slightly longer between paragraphs or sections. You may want to speak louder to stress certain main ideas in a thesis statement or topic sentence. You may want to use facial expressions or hand gestures to stress the main ideas or important supporting details. 

    Exercise 4.53

    The speech below has not been divided visually into paragraphs. Determine how the speech is organized and practice speaking to show that organization by following the directions below.

    1. Read the speech below and draw lines (/) to divide it into paragraphs. Create paragraphs by looking for the thesis statement, topic sentences, and other types of sentences. Each paragraph should be about one central, main idea. 

    2. Read the speech below silently two times. Then, read it aloud to a partner. 

    3. Listen to the audio clip of Amelia Earhart delivering the speech. Consider, how does she show organization?

    On the Future of Women In Flying

    by Amelia Earhart

         This modern world of science and invention is a particular interest to women, for the lives of women who have been more affected by its new horizon and those of any other group. Profound in strength, there have been accomplishments in the field of research, it is in the home that the applications and scientific achievements have perhaps been most far reaching. And it is through changing conditions there that women have become the greatest beneficiaries in the modern scene. Science has released them from much of the age-old drudgery connected with the process of living. Candle dipping, weaving, and crude methods of manufacturing necesities are things of the past for an increasing majority. Today, light, and power may be obtained by pushing buttons and manufactured and appealing products of all the world are available at the door . Indeed beyond that door she need not go, thanks to the miracles of modern communication and transportation. Not only as applied science decreased the in the home, but it has provided undue new economic opportunities for women. Today, millions of them are earning their living on the conditions made possible only through a basically system. Probably no scientific development is more startling than the access of this new and growing economic independence upon women themselves. When the history of our is written, it must be called as supremely significant for physical, psychic and social changes women have undergone in these exciting decades. The of the sociological evolution of the last half century should be largely credited to those who have toiled in laboratories and those who have translated into practical use the proof of such labors. When we hear from a man that a mechanized world would not be a pleasant one in which to live, quite the contrary, it should be true and it can be true if the fine minds have accomplished so much in the realms of applied science will unite with the same enthusiasm to control our creation against social misuse. Obviously, research regarding technological unemployment is as vital today as further refinement or production of labor and comfort living devices. Among all the marvels of modern invention, that with which I am most concerned is, of course, air transportation. Flying is. perhaps the most dramatic of recent scientfic attainment. In the brief span of thirty odd years, the world has seen an inventor's dream first materialized by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk become an everyday actuality. Perhaps I'm prejudiced, but to me it seems that no other phase of modern progress contrives to maintain such a venom of romance and beauty coupled with utility aviation. Within itself, this industry embraces many of those scientific accomplishments which yesterday seemed fantastic impossibilites. The pilot, winging his way above the earth at two hundred miles an hour, talks by radio telephone to ground stations or to other planes in the air. In sick weather he is guided by radio beams and receives detailed reports of conditions ahead through special instruments and new methods of meteorological calculations. He sits behind engines in the liability of which measured by yardsticks of the past is all but unbelievable. I, myself, which is carried in over the North Atlantic part of the Pacific to and from Mexico city and the many times across this continent. Aviation, this young modern giant, exemplifies the possible relationship of women and the creations of science. Although women as yet have not taken full advantage of its use and benefits, air travel is as available to them as to men. As so often happens in introducing the new or changing the old, public acceptance depends particularly upon women than the attitude. In aviation they are arbitrary of whether or not their families shall fly and if such, are a potent influence. within the industry itself for women who work are still greatly outnumbered, they are finding more and more opportunities for employment in the ranks of this latest transportation medium. May I hope this movement will spread throughout all of applied science and industry and that women may come to share with men the joy of doing can appreciate most who have helped create.

    Source: Center for Applied Linguistics collection (AFC 1986/022), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

    Click the link to listen to The Future of Women in Flying [excerpt] by Amelia Earhart:


    General Organization

    Ideas in speeches will be organized into a pattern. American speeches are often organized generally with a main idea followed by supporting details. The most important main idea like the one found in a thesis statement will usually be repeated at the beginning and end of the speech.

    Exercise 4.54

    Follow the directions to annotate the speech below. 

    1. Underline the main idea or thesis of the speech. 

    2. Underline the main ideas or topic sentences of each body paragraph.

    3. Draw arrows connecting the supporting details to the thesis statement or topic sentence they support.

    4. Box any call(s) to action. 

    5. Label the structure of the speech: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

    'To mend the nation, we must first mend the senate' Farewell Address

    by Orrin B. Hatch

         Mr. President, for more than four decades, I have had the distinct privilege of serving in the United States Senate, what some have called the world’s greatest deliberative body. Speaking on the Senate floor; debating legislation in committee; corralling the support of my colleagues on compromise legislation—these are the moments I will miss. These are the memories I will cherish forever. To address this body is to experience a singular feeling—a sense that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, a minor character in the grand narrative that is America. No matter how often I come to speak at this lectern, I experience that feeling—again and again. But today, if I’m being honest, I also feel sadness. Indeed, my heart is heavy. It aches for the times when we actually lived up to our reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body. It longs for the days in which Democrats and Republicans would meet on middle ground rather than retreat to their partisan trenches. Now some may say I’m waxing nostalgic, yearning—as old men often do—for some golden age that never existed. They would be wrong. The Senate I’ve described is not some fairytale but the reality we once knew. Having served as a Senator for nearly 42 years, I can tell you this: things weren’t always as they are now.

         I was here when this body was at its best. I was here when regular order was the norm, when legislation was debated in committee, and when members worked constructively with one another for the good of the country. I was here when we could say, without any hint of irony, that we were members of the world’s greatest deliberative body. Times have certainly changed. Over the last several years, I have witnessed the subversion of Senate rules, the abandonment of regular order, and the full-scale deterioration of the judicial confirmation process. Polarization has ossified. Gridlock is the new norm. And like the humidity here, partisanship permeates everything we do. On both the left and the right, the bar of decency has been set so low that jumping over it is no longer the objective. Limbo is the new name of the game. How low can you go? The answer, it seems, is always lower. All the evidence points to an unsettling truth: The Senate, as an institution, is in crisis. The committee process lies in shambles. Regular order is a relic of the past. And compromise—once the guiding credo of this great institution—is now synonymous with surrender. Since I first came to the Senate in 1978, the culture of this place has shifted fundamentally—and not for the better. Here, there used to be a level of congeniality and kinship among colleagues that was hard to find anywhere else. In those days, I counted Democrats among my very best friends. One moment, we would be locking horns on the Senate floor; the next, we would be breaking bread together over family dinner.

         My unlikely friendship with the late Senator Kennedy embodied the spirit of goodwill and collegiality that used to thrive here. Teddy and I were a case study in contradictions. He was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat; I was a resolute Republican. But by choosing friendship over party loyalty, we were able to pass some of the most significant bipartisan achievements of modern times—from the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to the Ryan White bill and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.Nine years after Teddy’s passing, it’s worth asking: Could a relationship like this even exist in today’s Senate? Could two people with polar-opposite beliefs and from vastly different walks of life come together as often as Teddy and I did for the good of the country? Or are we too busy vilifying each other to even consider friendship with the other side? Mr. President, many factors contribute to the current dysfunction. But if I were to identify the root of our crisis, it would be this: the loss of comity and genuine good feeling among Senate colleagues. Comity is the cartilage of the Senate—the soft connective tissue that cushions impact between opposing joints. But in recent years, that cartilage has been ground to a nub. All movement has become bone on bone. Our ideas grate against each other with increasing frequency—and with nothing to absorb the friction. We hobble to get any bipartisan legislation to the Senate floor, much less to the President’s desk. The pain is excruciating, and it is felt by the entire nation. We must remember that our dysfunction is not confined to the Capitol. It ripples far beyond these walls—to every state, to every town, and to every street corner in America.

         The Senate sets the tone of American civic life. We don’t mirror the political culture as much as we make it. It’s incumbent on us, then, to move the culture in a positive direction, keeping in mind that everything we do here has a trickle-down effect. If we are divided, then the nation is divided. If we abandon civility, then our constituents will follow. And so, to mend the nation, we must first mend the Senate. We must restore the culture of comity, compromise, and mutual respect that used to exist here. Both in our personal and public conduct, we must be the very change we want to see in the country. We must not be enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory...will yet swell...when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.These are not my words but the words of President Abraham Lincoln. They come from a heartfelt plea he made to the American people long ago on the eve of the Civil War. Lincoln’s admonition is just as timely today as it was then. If ever there were a time in our history to heed the better angels of our nature, it is now. How can we answer Lincoln’s call to our better angels? Over the last several months, I have devoted significant time and resources to answering this question. In a series of essays and floor speeches, I have sought to put flesh on the bones of Lincoln’s appeal. These writings provide a blueprint for fixing our broken politics. They include:An essay on civility—the indispensable political norm—and how to restore it to the public discourse;

         A speech entitled A Tale of Two Cities, which draws from the tragedies of Charlottesville and Houston in the summer of 2017 to issue a call for unity and strength;A well-reasoned critique of identity politics—specifically, the threat it poses to the American experiment and how we can heal age-old divisions by embracing the politics of ideas, not identity;A discourse on the invaluable worth of the individual and how affirming this worth can help us curb the suicide epidemic among LGBTQ youth and create a stronger, more civil society;A proposal to establish Geneva Conventions for the culture wars—a new set of norms that can ease partisan tensions and help us contain the worst excesses of political warfare;And finally, an op-ed on pluralism and how embracing this forgotten virtue can help us overcome tribal tolerance and effect meaningful change. These writings appeal to the humanity, grace, and inherent goodness in each of us. The purpose of this project is to remind readers of the singularity of the American experiment and how we can preserve this great nation only by heeding the higher virtues within us. As a parting gift, I plan to share a copy of this compilation with each of my Senate colleagues, as well as our friends in the House and leaders in the executive branch. I sincerely ask that each of you take the time to study these writings. Please, ponder their words and ask yourself how we can apply these ideas to restore our nation’s civic health.

         When we heed our better angels—when we hearken to the voices of civility and reason native to our very nature—we can transcend our tribal instincts and preserve our democracy for future generations. That we may do so is my humble prayer.

         I yield the floor

    Source: https://speakola.com/political/orrin-b-hatch-farewell-address-2018 

    Specific Organization

    There are many types of more specific organizational patterns such as chronological order, geographical order, order of increasing importance, comparison or contrast, argumentative structure, and more. The organizational pattern you choose to follow will depend on the information being presented and the purpose of the speech. For example, a speech given in a business meeting might compare and contrast the company with a rival company following a point-by-point approach (e.g. Our company provides service all year, but their company only provides service in summer. Our company offers many discount products, but their company offers one signature product. etc). An educational lecture may follow a chronological order. (e.g. In 1066 the Battle of Hastings occurred, and the Normans took control of England. It wasn't until the Anglo-French War (1202-1214) that the Norman influence lessened with English Normans becoming 'English'.1) The information and purpose determine what specific organizational pattern is used. 

    1. https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/medieval-renaissance/what-happened-to-the-normans/#:~:text=The%20Anglo%2DFrench%20War%20(1202,of%20a%20Norman%20civilisation%20disappeared. 

    Types of Specific Organizational Patterns

    Chronologicalrelating to time; from the beginning to the end     First, we will build a cooking facility in each city. Then, we will be able to provide food for all the schoolchildren. 

    from a small area to a large area


    from a large area to a small area


    from one area to a neighboring area

         We will implement this marketing plan first by focusing on the stores in California. If it proves successful, we will expand to the west coast, and then nationally. Depending on the success rate we may even apply it internationally. 

    from least importance to greatest importance* 


    from greatest importance to least importance

    *This generally has a greater impact on the listener. 

         Pollution has many effects. It can cause hazy days that block the beautiful views of the mountains. It can cause health problems for those with sensitive respiratory systems. It can trap greenhouse gasses that increase global warming.  
    Compare/Contrast: Point-by-point 

    Showing how A and B are similar and/or different across multiple points. For example, each point might get a paragraph. 

    Paragraph 1: A is expensive. B is cheap. (Point = cost)

    Paragraph 2: A has many colors. B is only one color. (Point = color)

    Paragraph 3: A is heavy. B is light. (Point = weight)

    Compare/Contrast: Block

    Showing how A and B are similar and/or different by focusing first on A and then on B. For example, each thing may get its own paragraph. 

    Paragraph 1: A is expensive, has many colors, and is heavy. 

    Paragraph 2: B is cheap, has only one color, and is light.


     Argumentative structure includes the following parts:

    1)state the claim (opinion)

    2) support the claim

    3) state the counterclaim

    4) give a rebuttal

    5) give a conclusion (usually supporting your original claim)

    Dogs are the greatest companion animal to mankind. They are smart, funny, and caring. My own dog, Fluffy, knows many tricks that entertain my family for hours and always seems to know when I am sad and come to sit with me. Some may say that cats are just as good companion animals as dogs. However, cats are often more aloof than friendly. They may only like one family member. A cat won't come sit with me when I feel down. Therefore, dogs are the ultimate pet. 

    Exercise 4.55

    Choose one of the prompts below to discuss with a partner. Determine which specific organizational pattern would work best to organize your comments. Plan your initial response using that or those organizational pattern(s). Then, discuss the prompt you choose with your partner. 

    1. Should human cloning be legal? Why or why not?
    2. What impact do school sports programs have on students and the communities they belong to?
    3. What types of computers are available for consumers to purchase? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
    4. Does music education matter? Why or why not? Justify your answer at the individual, local, and global levels.
    5. What is the role of artificial intelligence (AI) currently? What will its role be in the future?

    Cohesive Devices

    You may choose any type of specific organizational pattern, or even multiple patterns, to use in a speech. Whatever organizational pattern you use, you will likely need cohesive devices to show the relationship between your ideas. Cohesive devices (sometimes called transition words) are words or phrases that show the relationship between two or more ideas. There are many cohesive devices that you may use depending on the relationship you want to show. 


    Sequential: first, second, first of all, then, next, finally 

    Additive: in addition, furthermore, moreover

    Contrastive: however, but, on the other hand, otherwise

    Causative: in conclusion, therefore, thus

    When saying these words aloud you may add stress to them by saying them slightly louder or longer than the words around them. This will draw attention to the cohesive device and clarify the relationship between the ideas in your speech for your audience. 

    Exercise 4.56

    Part A

    Order the following points in different ways (i.e. ABC and BAC). Then read them aloud to a partner. 

    These sentences are excerpts from Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session by Hilliary Clinton (First Lady of the United States 1993-2001).

    A. I would like to thank the Secretary General for inviting me to be part of this important United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.

    B. We come together in fields and factories, in village markets and supermarkets, in living rooms and board rooms.

    C. This is truly a celebration, a celebration of the contributions women make in every aspect of life: in the home, on the job, in the community, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens, and leaders.

    D. It is also a coming together, much the way women come together every day in every country.

    E. Whether it is while playing with our children in the park, or washing clothes in a river, or taking a break at the office water cooler, we come together and talk about our aspirations and concern.

    F. And time and again, our talk turns to our children and our families.

    G. We share a common future, and we are here to find common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world, and in so doing bring new strength and stability to families as well.

    H. However different we may appear, there is far more that unites us than divides us.

    Option 1:


    Option 2:


    Option 3: 


    Part B

    Ask your partner the following questions to find out the audience's opinion about the organization of the speech.

    1. Which option helped you understand the main idea the best?

    2. Which option made the most sense logically?

    3. Which option seemed to have the best "flow"?

    4. Which option helped you remember the main idea or take away the best?

    5. Which option had the most impact on you?

    Part C

    Answer the questions below by yourself. 

    1. Based on the discussion with your partner, which option would you use to organize your speech?


    2. Why did you choose that option?


    Pausing and Dynamics

    Pausing can also be used as an organizational tool. It can separate ideas for your listeners to process the ideas you just said. When you read something there is a white space between paragraphs. When you listen to something, the pauses act as the space between paragraphs. You can pause after you finish speaking about one of your main ideas or points before moving on to the next one. This will help the listener know that you have finished one idea and are starting another idea. 

    Some speakers find it useful to mark a written copy of the speech to show where they plan to pause. They may also add other markings for dynamics--where to speak louder or softer. By marking their written speech, speakers are able to practice where to pause and what volume to speak before they deliver the speech in front of an audience. Depending on the type of presentation, they may even bring the marked or annotated copy of the speech with them to read or refer to while delivering the speech. Sometimes, you may be required to memorize your speeches, but if you are allowed a written copy or notes, then marking the pauses or dynamics may help you during the presentation. 

    Tip: If you are allowed a written copy, notes, or a slide show, be careful to not read the speech directly with your head constantly looking down. It is important to look up at the audience and make eye contact. This shows confidence and also will help you connect more with the audience. It will also let the audience see your face clearly so they can see your facial expressions. 


    Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy], 06/12/1987 (National Archives Identifier: 198491); White House Office of Records Management Subject File folder SP1107 439177 (1), Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files), 01/20/1981 - 01/20/1989; Ronald Reagan Library (NLRR); National Archives and Records Administration.

    Image: Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy], 06/12/1987 (National Archives Identifier: 198491); White House Office of Records Management Subject File folder SP1107 439177 (1), Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files), 01/20/1981 - 01/20/1989; Ronald Reagan Library (NLRR); National Archives and Records Administration.

    Exercise 4.57

    Read the excerpt from the speech below silently to yourself one time. You can print this page as a pdf or write the paragraph on a piece of paper to do this exercise. Draw lines (/) where you could add pauses. Underline any important words or phrases you would want to say louder or softer. Read the speech again to yourself aloud using the markings. Then, read the speech to a partner. 

    Never give In, Never, Never, Never [excerpt]

    by Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1940-1945 & 1951-1955)

         You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period — I am addressing myself to the School — surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

    Memorized Speeches:

    Speeches are often memorized. They are then recited from memory. Memorized speeches are one of the 4 types of speeches: manuscript, memorized, extemporaneous, and impromptu1. Many of the speeches you have read or listened to in this unit are manuscript speeches where the speaker reads from notes or a teleprompter. Extemporaneous and impromptu speeches have topics but the speakers have not written down word-for-word what they want to say. Memorized speeches are written word-for-word, but instead of reading, the speaker says the words from memory. 

    Recitation, saying a speech or other written work from memory, requires you to understand the organization of the speech, so you can decide where to pause and where to increase or decrease your volume. This can be difficult to do, but it does have some advantages. When a speech is memorized, the speaker does not have to look down to read from notes or stare at a teleprompter. The speaker can instead look at the audience. Their emotions might be conveyed more genuinely because they can look at the audience. The audience may feel more connected with a speaker who speaks to them directly rather than reading from notes. However, there are some drawbacks. Speakers may focus more on the words rather than the ideas when delivering a memorized speech2 and the speech may sound unnatural as the speaker tries to remember the words. 

    It takes practice and time to memorize a speech. There are many memorization strategies you can use. You might try repeating the speech aloud many times. You might try breaking the speech into chunks or parts based on important ideas. You may try repeating the speech with a certain rhythm. Try different strategies and find the one that works for you.

    For more memorization techniques see the websites below:



    Exercise 4.58

    Choose one of the speeches below. Memorize the speech or its excerpt. Practice saying the speech aloud. Then recite the speech to a group of your classmates. 

    Option 1:

    Historical Context: The speech below was given by Hinmahtohyahlatkekt , called Chief Joseph, a member of the Nez Perce tribe on October 5, 1877. His people were forced from their land in Oregon by U.S. General Howard and chased for months. Chief Joseph gave this speech to surrender after the Battle of the Bear Paw Mountains.1


    I Will Fight No More Forever

    by Hinmahtohyahlatkekt, called Chief Joseph (A Chief of the Nez Perce) 

         Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ He who led the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are; perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.

    Option 2:

    Remarks at the 2020 Democratic National Convention [excerpt]

    by Michelle Obama (First Lady of the United States 2009-2017)

         So what do we do now? What’s our strategy? Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, “When others are going so low, does going high still really work?” My answer: going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight.

         But let’s be clear: going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.

         And going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold hard truth

    Option 3: 

    Gettysburg Address

    by President Abraham Lincoln (President of the United States 1861-1865)

         Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. “But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us,that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Option 4: 

    Inaugural Speech [excerpt]

    by John F. Kennedy (President of the United States 1961-1963)

         In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

         And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.

         My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

         Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

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