Sir Winston Churchill took three years getting through
eighth grade because he had trouble learning English. It
seems ironic that years later Oxford University asked him
to address its commencement exercises.
He arrived with his
usual props. A cigar, a cane and a top hat accompanied
Churchill wherever he went. As Churchill approached the
podium, the crowd rose in appreciative applause. With
unmatched dignity, he settled the crowd and stood confident
before his admirers. Removing the cigar and carefully
placing the top hat on the podium, Churchill gazed at his
waiting audience. Authority rang in Churchill's voice as he
shouted, "Never give up!"
Several seconds passed before he
rose to his toes and repeated: "Never give up!" His words
thundered in their ears. There was a deafening silence as
Churchill reached for his hat and cigar, steadied himself
with his cane and left the platform. His commencement
address was finished.