“Let every midshipman who passes through this institution remember, as he looks upon the tomb of John Paul Jones, that while no courage can atone for the lack of that efficiency which comes only through careful preparation in advance, through careful training of the men, and careful fitting out of the engines of war, yet that none of these things can avail unless in the moment of crisis the heart rises level with the crisis.” Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Historian- President of the United States. April 24, 1906
Historians have spilled plenty of ink…trying to prove that John Paul Jones never uttered his now immortal words. What we do know is that Jones didn’t surrender– and shouted defiantly at his enemy. Roosevelt’s remarks at the dedication of Jones’ tomb in Annapolis provide the proper prospective. Regardless of what was said, Jones rose to the occasion(a most admirable trait in TR’s eyes)– at the moment of crisis, John Paul Jones triumphed. Critics can waste time and ink trying to diminish one of the great patriotic tales in America’s story, but the man of action still stands tall.