Douglas MacArthur, 33, A Soldier Of The People

Gen. Douglas MacArthur

H. Douglas Lemons, 33
Lakewood, California

Do you remember that fateful day in 1951 and the black-and-white television picture of a beleaguered five-star general standing before the Congress of the United States to defend his actions in North Korea and China? He concluded his remarks with the following words: "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away...." That old soldier did die, but in the minds of millions of loyal American citizens and Freemasons, he will never fade away!

Illustrious Brother Douglas MacArthur, 33, General of the Army, was born on January 26, 1880, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born to be a soldier and a hero like his father who had joined the Union Army at 17 and fought in the Civil War, retiring as a Lieutenant General in 1909. Douglas MacArthur was graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1903 as the leading man in his class, and his life thereafter was dedicated to the defense of his beloved country.

He served in the Philippines for ten years and advanced to the rank of Colonel. When the United States entered World War One, he became chief of the famous Rainbow Division and was officially praised for bravery in action. He returned to the Philippines in 1922 and was made general in 1930. He was named Army Chief of Staff, the youngest in United States history. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he was stationed in the Philippines as Commander of all U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. We can recall that frightful nighttime voyage in a navy torpedo boat from Corregidor to Australia, and his famous promise to those left behind: "I shall return!" He made good on that promise in 1944.

He was made General of the Army in that same year and took command of all American Army forces in the Pacific in April 1945. His greatest personal satisfaction occurred on September 2, 1945, when he accepted the Japanese surrender on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri. (See page 18.)

Douglas MacArthur was a soldier of the people. His integrity was never questioned, and the moral code which he developed early in life was never compromised. Speaking of how great spiritual forces motivated his son's life, MacArthur's father once commented: "Somehow or other, Douglas has acquired through his mother, the rare and subconscious gift of being able to tune in on the great infinite forces that exist in the universe, and draw from them, an inner resilience and guiding power."

Bro. Douglas MacArthur made all Americans proud and gave every Mason much to emulate. Yes, the old soldier has died, but we must see to it that he never fades away. He lives on as an inspiration for our lives. And, as a formal reminder of his lifetime of achievement, we, the Scottish Rite Brethren of California, are pleased to donate a portrait of this great American and Mason to the Scottish Rite Hall of Honor in the House of the Temple in our nation's capital, Washington, DC.

Note: This article is a brief dedicatory address given in the House of the Temple by Illustrious Lemons at the installation of the Scottish Rite Hall of Honor portrait of Illustrious MacArthur during the 1995 Biennial Session. The portrait was donated by the Scottish Rite Brethren of California.