"One of the pairs of hands that you see outstretched to raise
our national flag on the battle-scarred crest of Mount Suribachi so
many years ago, are those of a native American ... Ira Hayes ... a
Marine not of the ethnic majority of our population.

Were Ira Hayes here today ... I would tell him that although
my words on another occasion have given the impression that I
believe some Marines ... because of their color ... are not as
capable as other Marines ... that those were not the thoughts of my
mind ... and that they are not the thoughts of my heart.

I would tell Ira Hayes that our Corps is what we are because
we are of the people of America ... the people of the broad,
strong, ethnic fabric that is our nation. And last, I would tell
him that in the future, that fabric will broaden and strengthen in
every category to make our Corps even stronger ... even of greater
utility to our nation. That's a commitment of this commandant ...
And that's a personal commitment of this Marine."

      10 NOV. 1993