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2008年奥巴马在阵亡将士纪念日的演讲:他们是我们学习的榜样

奥巴马演讲《Their Lives Are a Model for Us All 他们是我们学习的榜样》,这是奥巴马2008年5月26日在阵亡将士纪念日集会上的演讲,地点为美国新墨西哥州,听众中大部分为军人。Memorial Day是美国大多数州都要纪念的节日,时间为5月的最后一个星期一。美国总统同时也是三军总司令,所以争取得到军人的支持尤显重要,奥巴马利用阵亡将士纪念日向美国军人表示敬意,一方面是他真情的流露,另一方面也是选举的需要。该篇演讲短小精悍,感人至深。

Their Lives Are a Model for Us All英语演讲稿:

On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, our sense of patriotism is particularly strong. Because while we gather here under open skies, we know that far beyond the Organ Mountains – in the streets of Baghdad, and the outskirts of Kabul – America’s sons and daughters are sacrificing on our behalf. And our thoughts and prayers are with them.

在今天这个阵亡将士纪念日,当我们国家缅怀其前赴后继牺牲的英雄时,我们的爱国主义情绪尤其强烈。我们在此集会的同时,在同一片天空下,我们知道在离奥根山千里之外的土地上——在巴格达的街头,喀布尔的城郊——美利坚的儿女正在为我们付出他们自己的生命。我们的思念与祈祷与他们同在。

I speak to you today with deep humility. My grandfather marched in Patton’s Army, but I cannot know what it is to walk into battle like so many of you. My grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, but I cannot know what it is for a family to sacrifice like so many of yours have.

今天我以非常谦卑的态度与你们谈话。我的祖父曾经在巴顿将军的部队里服役,但我没有像你们许多人那样拥有亲历战场的体验。我的祖父当时在一个轰炸机流水装配线上工作,但我也无法感知像你们许多家庭那样付出牺牲的痛苦。

I am the father of two young girls, and I cannot imagine what it is to lose a child. My heart breaks for the families who’ve lost a loved one.

作为两个女孩的父亲,我无法想象如果失去一个孩子会是什么样子。我为那些失去亲人的家庭感到悲痛欲绝。

These are things I cannot know. But there are also some things I do know.

这些是我所不知道的事情,但有些是我的确是知道的。

I know that our sadness today is mixed with pride; that those we’ve lost will be remembered by a grateful nation; and that our presence here today is only possible because your loved ones, America’s patriots, were willing to give their lives to defend our nation.

我知道我们今日的悲伤中夹带着自豪。我们的国家将感激并铭记那些在战争中失去生命的将士。我们今天得以在此地集会就是因为你们的亲人、美利坚的爱国主义者愿意用生命来捍卫我们的国家。

I know that while we may come from different places, cherish different traditions, and have different political beliefs, we all – every one of us – hold in reverence those who’ve given this country the full measure of their devotion.

我知道我们也许来自不同地区,拥有不同历史文化传统,秉持不同政见,但我们——每一个人——都对那些为了国家奉献毕生努力的人们表示崇高的敬意。

And I know that children in New Mexico and across this country look to your children, to your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and friends–to those we honor today–as a shining example of what’s best about America.

我知道新墨西哥,连同这个国家的孩子们将把你们的孩子、你们的兄弟姐妹、父母朋友以及所有我们今天尊敬的人们共同视为美利坚最光辉耀眼的一笔。

Their lives are a model for us all.

他们的一生是我们所有人的榜样。

What led these men and women to wear their country’s uniform? What is it that leads anyone to put aside their own pursuit of life’s comforts; to subordinate their own sense of survival, for something bigger – something greater?

是什么促使这些男女将士穿上这个国家的军装 ?是什么引导每一个人都放下他们自身对生活舒适的追求,压制他们求生的本能和欲望——为了一些更伟大、更有意义的事业?

Many of those we honor today were so young when they were killed. They had a whole life ahead of them–birthdays and weddings, holidays with children and grandchildren, homes and jobs and happiness of their own. And yet, at one moment or another, they felt the tug, just as generations of Americans did before them. Maybe it was a massacre in a Boston square; or a President’s(指林肯) call to save the Union and free the slaves. Maybe it was the day of infamy that awakened a nation to a storm in the Pacific and a madman’s(指希特勒) death march across Europe. Or maybe it was the morning they woke up to see our walls of security crumble along with our two largest towers.

我们今天纪念的英雄们有许多在他们很年轻的时候就献出了宝贵的生命 。他们眼前本来有着一整幅人生的画卷尚未展开——生日和婚礼,与子孙共享假日天伦之乐,还有属于他们自己的家庭、事业和幸福。但是他们总能时不时地感受到来自祖国的召唤,就如同他们之前历代美国人民一样:也许这是在一场波士顿广场上的大屠杀;也许这来自总统的呼吁去拯救整个联邦、解放黑奴。也许那是整个民族的耻辱日促使其投入到太平洋战争的腥风血雨之中,投入到战争狂人希特勒肆虐的欧洲战场上。或者也许这是9月11日那天他们醒来的时候发现国家的安全保障已经随着双子大楼的倒塌而崩溃。

Whatever the moment was, when it came and they felt that tug, perhaps it was simply the thought of a mom or a dad, a husband or a wife, or a child not yet born that made this young American think that it was time to go;that made them think "I must serve so that the people I love can live–in happiness, and safety, and freedom."

不管是哪一时刻,当它来临的时候,美利坚年轻的儿女就会受到这种感召,也许他们只是简单地想到一位母亲或者父亲、一位丈夫或者妻子、或者一个尚未出生的孩子就决定是时候挺身而出,就让他们有了这样的想法“为了我爱的人能够生活在幸福、安全和自由之中,我必须挺身而出投入战斗。”

This sense of service is what America is all about. It is what leads Americans to enter the military. It is what sustains them in the most difficult hours. And it is the safeguard of our security.

这种为国家服务的意识是美国整个国家所有的内涵。它引导着美利坚儿女加入军队服役,它在他们最困难的时候给予他们坚持下去的信念,它是我们国家安全的卫士。

You see, America has the greatest military in the history of the world. We have the best training, the most advanced technology, the most sophisticated planning, and the most powerful weapons. And yet, in the end, though each of these things is absolutely critical, the true strength of our military lies someplace else.

大家都看到了,美国有着世界历史上最优秀的军队。我们有着最好的训练、最先进的技术、最周密的部署和最强大的武器。尽管这一切都毫无疑问是非常重要的,然而归根结底我们军队真正的力量去不在于此。

It lies in the spirit of America’s servicemen and women. No matter whether they faced down fascism or fought for freedom in Korea and Vietnam; liberated Kuwait or stopped ethnic cleansing in the Balkans or serve brilliantly and bravely under our flag today; no matter whether they are black, white, Latino, Asian, or Native American; whether they come from old military families, or are recent immigrants – their stories tell the same truth.

它在于美国军人的战斗精神。不管他们在抵挡消灭法西斯还是在韩国与越南为自由而战,解放科威特还是在巴尔干半岛阻止种族清洗,还是今日在我们国旗下光荣而勇敢地前进,不管他们是黑人、白人、拉丁裔、亚洲裔还是美国本地人,不管他们来自先前的军队家庭还是新近的移民家庭——他们的故事都诠释着同一个真理。

It is not simply their bravery, their insistence on doing their part – whatever the cost – to make America more secure and our world more free. It’s not simply an unflinching belief in our highest ideals. It’s that in the thick of battle, when their very survival is threatened, America’s sons and daughters aren’t thinking about themselves, they’re thinking about one another; they’re risking everything to save not their own lives, but the lives of their fellow soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines. And when we lose them – in a final act of selflessness and service – we know that they died so that their brothers and sisters, so that our nation, might live.

这并不是简单地由于他们的勇敢和坚持才履行他们的义务——不管代价如何——为了让美国变得更加安全,让世界变得更加自由。这并不是简单的只是我们最崇高理想中一个永不退缩的信念。在枪林弹雨的战争中,当他们自身的生命受到威胁时,他们考虑的是其他同伴的安危。他们冒着一切危险不仅希望拯救自己的生命,也更重要的是他们在拯救与他们并肩作战的战士们和陆海空三军将士。当他们离我们整个世界而去的时候——这是他们最后一次无私的奉献和服务——我们知道他们用自己的死换来了他们的兄弟姐妹和我们国家的生。

What makes America’s servicemen and women heroes is not just their sense of duty, honor, and country; it’s the bigness of their hearts and the breadth of their compassion.

美国军队男女士兵并不仅仅因为他们的责任感、荣誉感和爱国热情而成为美国的英雄,更由于他们的宽广的心胸和无限的激情。

That is what we honor today.

这就是今天我们所该纪念的东西。

Oliver Wendell Holmes once remarked that "To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your might." The Americans we honor today believed. Sergeant Ryan Jopek believed. Ryan was just weeks away from coming home when he volunteered for a mission to Mosul from which he would never return. His friends remember his easy smile; I remember Ryan because of the bracelet his mother gave me that I wear every day. Next to his name, it reads: "All gave some–he gave all."

奥利佛·文德尔·荷默斯曾经这样说道:“进行一场战争,你必须竭尽全力地相信某种东西并迫切希望得到它。”我们所纪念的美利坚儿女就 深信这一点。瑞恩·乔佩克军事长也深信这一点。瑞恩在不到几星期就要放假回家的时候自愿接受了一个去摩苏尔的任务,然而却有去无回。他的朋友还记得他那纯真的笑容,我记得瑞恩是因为我天天都戴着他母亲送给我的手镯。在他的名字旁边,有这么一句话:“所有人都付出了一些代价——他付出了所有。”

It is a living reminder of our obligation as Americans to serve Ryan as well as he served us; as well as the wounded warriors I’ve had the honor of meeting at Walter Reed(美国为各类服役人员设立的医疗机构) have served us; as well as the soldiers at Fort Bliss and the troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world are serving us. That means giving the same priority to building a 21st century VA(美国政府为退役老兵建立的福利制度,全称United States Department of Veterans Affairs) as to building a 21st century military. It means having zero tolerance for veterans sleeping on our streets. It means bringing home our POWs(prisoner of war,战俘) and MIAs(missing in action,指战斗中失踪的人). And it means treating the graves of veterans like the hallowed ground it is and banning protests near funerals.

这是一个鲜活的启示,让我们意识到作为一个美国人的义务,我们对待待瑞恩就应如同他对待我们大家那样,如同那些我有幸在瓦尔特·里德陆军医疗中心见到的受伤将士对待我们那样,如同那些在布利斯堡的将士和在伊拉克、阿富汗和世界各地的军队对待我们那样。这意味着我们打造一退伍军人事务部和一支21世纪的退伍军人事务部和一支21世纪军队具有同样的重要性。这意味着我们坚决不能容忍退伍军人在大街上睡觉的凄惨景象,意味着我们需要把那些在战争中被俘虏和失踪的人接回我们的国家 ,意味着我们要把退伍军人的墓地当作一片神圣的土地,同时禁止在他们的葬礼附近出现各种示威抗议。

But it also means something more. It means understanding that what Ryan and so many Americans fought and died for is not a place on a map or a certain kind of people. What they sacrificed for –what they gave all for–is a larger idea–the idea that a nation can be governed by laws, not men; that we can be equal in the eyes of those laws;that we can be free to say what we want, write what we want, and worship as we please; that we can have the right to pursue our own dreams, but the obligation to help our fellow Americans pursue theirs.

但它也意味着一些更多的东西。它意味着我们需要认识到瑞恩和许多美国人并不是为了地图上的一个地点或者某一类人的利益而在战场上拼搏牺牲的。他们的牺牲是为了——他们付出一切是为了——一个更宏伟的理念——一个国家可以依法治国而非以人治国,法律面前人人平等,人们拥有言论、写作和宗教信仰自由,拥有追求自身梦想的权利,同时也有义务帮助我们的国民来实现他们的梦想。

So on this day, of all days, let’s memorialize our fallen heroes by honoring all who wear our country’s uniform; and by completing their work to make America more secure and our world more free. But let’s also do our part – service-member and civilian alike – to live up to the idea that so many of our fellow citizens have consecrated–the idea of America. That is the essence of patriotism. That is the lesson of this solemn day. And that is the task that lies ahead. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

所以在今天,在所有的日子里,让我们通过这样的方式来缅怀为国捐躯的英雄们,让我们对所有穿军装的美利坚儿女致敬;让我们继承他们的事业去开创一个更加安全的美国,一个更加自由的世界。同时我们也开始履行自己的职责——无论是服役军人还是普通国民——用自己的努力去践行被数以万计的美国公民所奉为神圣的 ——美国理念。这是爱国主义的精华。这是今天整个神圣的日子给我们上的一课。这也是在我们每个人眼前的任务。愿主保佑你,愿主保佑美利坚合众国!

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《2008年奥巴马在阵亡将士纪念日的演讲:他们是我们学习的榜样》

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