Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech “A Time For Choosing” is largely regarded as one of the most impactful speeches of all time. An inspiring tribute to the service members who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, Reagan’s words echoed throughout America. The speech would ultimately launch his political career and was one of many speeches that earned him the nickname “The Great Communicator.”
Check out an excerpt of the speech paired with a military montage in the video below:
“Now let’s set the record straight,” Reagan says in his speech. “There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second — surrender.”
“You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin — just in the face of this enemy?” Regans asks.
“The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it’s a simple answer after all.”
“You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’ ‘There is a point beyond which they must not advance.’ You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.”
“We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness,” Reagan concludes.
“We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.”
The speech was made in 1964 and was presented that year for the U.S. presidential election campaign on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
The speech raised one million dollars for Goldwater’s campaign, though he would ultimately lose the presidential election.