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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Wayne Thiebaud

Painter and Teacher

Wayne Thiebaud: I think it's the quest and the challenge that keeps you going. When you get to a point of where you can do something, somehow, that you feel you can do, and you anticipate the end result, it's no longer very interesting. You've got to, I think, risk making a terrible painting, or a terrible idea, and see what you can do with it. And it's often disastrous. I mean, if you can get one painting out of 12 or 15, that's a very high batting average, and you better look to yourself to be a little bit more editing. And you see, one of the problems with painters is we don't have editors like you do. We know and you know how important editors are, and have been. So we then have to, I think, really move to critical confrontation, in order to somehow, hopefully ensure that you're not degrading your work, being repetitive, becoming a kind of art world employee where you're expected to make these light manufacturing products. I think that's a kind of death.
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James Thomson

Father of Stem Cell Research

James Thomson: So we derived primate embryonic stem cells in 1995, and that showed that this could be done in a species other than the mouse. And given the evolutionary relatedness of humans and primates, we thought we could apply this to humans. So in 1995 I talked to some ethicists on our campus about how we would do this. And we were very fortunate to have two very good people on campus, one who's named Norm Fost, who is the head of our IRB (Institutional Review Board), which is the Human Subjects Committee you have to go through. And the other one is Alta Charo, who's a lawyer that had sat on some national panels dealing with ethical issues and human ES cell -- human embryo research, not human ES cell research -- and discussed how we would do this in an ethical way, and I did a lot of thought about whether I wanted to do it. And then finally we did the consent forms and we did it.
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James Thomson

Father of Stem Cell Research

I had to do a lot of soul searching about whether this was something I wanted to do. It's actually a fairly complex issue, but what it comes down to for me is fairly simple, is that the way in vitro fertilization is currently practiced, embryos are made that the couples ultimately don't want. And sometimes because they've had the family that they want, or whatever reason, and they have to come to a personal decision of what to do with those embryos. In our case, they had the option to donate to some other couples if they wanted to attempt to have babies. They could simply discard them, or they could donate them to research if they want, through this consent process. So for the embryos we use, they would simply have been thrown out had not they been used for this research. And for me it would be a better thing to do that than to simply throw them out, since there is a great deal of value to doing this research.
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

I put my life jacket over his head and then I took a 4X4 -- which is a gut patch about like this -- and I stuffed it in his head, and I took another one and wrapped it around his head. And I tied -- there's an H harness so I took that H harness and put it around my neck and kept him on top of my neck where -- on my back. And then I brought the other guy around and put him in front of me, and then I started to breast stroke. And we were in the water for approximately three hours. Thomas Norris: I gave him a fit though, because I mean I could see -- and the blood would wash off -- or the water -- I could wash the blood off my face just for seconds, and I could see two of our Vietnamese, and I knew Mike obviously was with me, and the other one was hanging on, and I could see the other one. But I couldn't find the last one and I kept asking Mike, "Do we have everybody? Do we have everybody?" And he kept telling me, "Yeah, we've got everybody. We've got everybody."
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

Michael Thornton: When I was in the water swimming I was saying, "God, let me--" When I saw the bullets, I was saying, "God, don't let it hit me now," because I knew if I went down Tommy was going to go down. And also the other guy would be going down with me, because he couldn't swim at all. And then after I had all my guys taken care of, I was the last one. Because it was really funny -- after 30 years -- this guy was asking for information about me. He thought Tommy was dead, and he was actually on the Newport News. And he says, "There's Mike Thornton holding Tommy and lying him on the operating table," and I said, "Take care of my men." And he said, "Are you all right?" And I kept saying, "All right." And he said, "There I see Thornton standing in two big puddles of blood," which was my own that I was -- But then my concern went to Tommy because -- I mean, like you say, the camaraderie and the love that you feel for each other -- because I know if that had been me on that beach that Tommy would have done the same thing for me. And that's what type of commitment you have to have in each other, and belief you have to have in each other, to do something like that.
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

The riches are great, but riches aren't everything, because when you go you can only take your memories and your word and your honor to the grave with you.
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

I wanted to be an FBI agent, so I started pursuing that avenue. I had a very good friend who was an ex-Navy SEAL who had since been in the FBI. I contacted him. I went over and interviewed with him, as well as a number of people -- agents in the office. And the outcome of all of that was we did quite a bit of research to determine whether or not there was any other people in the FBI who had injuries similar to mine. And there had been an agent who had lost his eye while he was on active duty, but that was the only incident we could find. And I no longer -- obviously I did not meet the physical requirements to become an agent. So we decided pretty much in order that if I was going to become accepted at all I would need to have a waiver through the Director of the FBI. So I wrote him a letter requesting that he waiver my disabilities. And it was Judge Webster, William Webster was the Director of the FBI at that time. And surprisingly, he wrote back and said, "If you can pass the same test as anybody else applying for this organization, I will waiver your disabilities."
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

Michael Thornton: I was actually awarded the Medal on October the 15th, 1973, and Tommy was still going through operations in Bethesda, Maryland, at the time. And they weren't going to let him out because he was getting ready for another operation, and they were looking all over the place for Tommy and he was staying with me at the hotel in a room, and everybody in the world is trying -- and then we had to try to get him the clearance to get into the White House. Well it was really funny. We got him clearance to get in the White House -- for everybody to go to the White House. It's kind of like when I came here -- everybody was cleared to go in the White House but me. I was not cleared to go in the White House. It was really funny because the same thing happened -- I didn't have my credentials or something when we went over to the -- and I said, "Well, give the medal to Tommy." But I'll never forget that day. My mom and dad was there. My brother was there. Tommy was there. And the President asked me, he said, "Mike, you know, what does this mean to you?" It was President Nixon, and we were in the East Room. And I said, "Sir, if you could take something and cut this in half, I'd like to give the other half of this medal to the gentleman who is standing behind me," and that was Tommy.
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Michael Thornton

Medal of Honor

This medal does not belong to me. This medal belongs to every man and woman who has ever served their country. And Tommy feels it. We were doing what we were trained to do. We were doing our job. Why we were chosen to receive this great honor, I don't know. And you know, I don't question it, but what I do -- what I do and I let everybody in the world or the public know, is that this Medal of Honor belongs to every man and woman who gives us the freedom today to be able to hold our flag and hold our heads up high and say we have the greatest country in the world. And that goes with the men and women in the past, and the men and women of today, and the men and women of the future. As long as Mike Thornton lives, that medal will always stand for all them. Not for me. Not for what I've done, but for what I was trained to do and what they have been trained to do to give us our freedom today.
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