Wesley Clarke Story

By Mason Miller

On Thursday, February 7, 2019, Pacific students had the opportunity to engage in a discussion with Former NATO head General Wesley Clark. Clark, who was at Pacific to give a speech later that evening to the community, took an hour and a half out of his schedule to talk with students in the School of International Studies (SIS). During the discussion at George Wilson Hall, Clark gave a brief story on his background before opening up the floor to questions.

Clark is a retired four-star general who served in the United States Army for 38 years, where he received numerous awards for his service including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award bestowed by the President of the United States and one of the two highest civilian awards in our country. He is now active in energy, finance, and security.

The major theme of Clark’s discussion with students was a metaphorical passing of the torch. Several times Clark mentioned that the United States is at a critical inflection point. He asked, “What will define your generation?” Clark encouraged students to speak up for what they believe in because one day soon their generation would be running the show.

When asked about what reward he was most proud of receiving, Clark simply answered, “It’s not the award, it’s what you do, what you stand for, and how you live your life. When you can make a difference, you should.”

It is in this quote where one could summarize Clark’s message to the students in attendance. He said, “What the future holds for the country is going to be very much defined by the commitment, the values, and the courage of the members of this generation.” He challenged each and every one of them to go out into the world and make a difference, by doing what’s right.

Students left the event with a sense of renewed purpose. It is now their mission to make a difference through their actions and General Clark served as an amazing reminder to the students that it is now up to them to change the world.  

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