Archive for the ‘Speeches’ Category

Speech at South Dakota State Fair

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

At the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, on September 3, Sherwin Linton invited me to talk about my books and my Navy career. Here is my speech. (Thanks to John Mogen for the photo.)


Memorial Day Speech – 2017

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Memorial Day Speech by CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret)
May 29, 2017
American Legion Post 13, Willow Lake, South Dakota

If South Dakota hadn’t passed a law in the mid-1960s to allow only 12-year school districts, I wouldn’t be standing here today. I’d be a retired country schoolteacher instead of a retired U.S. Navy captain.

That law dashed my childhood dream of teaching in the same sort of one-room country school I grew up in near Clear Lake. Teaching in town schools didn’t interest me. So I enlisted in the Navy after college graduation. (more…)

Memorial Day 2016

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Below is the speech I gave on May 30, 2016, at American Legion Post 131 in Valley Springs, South Dakota.

Welcome to today’s ceremony and thank you for being here. This is one of those few years when Memorial Day falls on both the traditional date of May 30th and the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has evolved in the past century and a half, from Decoration Day that honored those who died on the battlefields of the Civil War, to Memorial Day that honors those who died in all wars. It now also includes all deceased veterans and deceased civilian family members and friends. But the main focus is still those who lost their lives in battle.

Today is not for living veterans—we have Veteran’s Day for them. Today is not for active duty members—we have Armed Forces Day for them. Today we remember the millions of Americans who fought and died on battlefields around the world to defend our freedom. (more…)

“Lessons I Have Learned”

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

–This is a speech I gave to a veterans’ group at the Center for Active Generations in Sioux Falls on January 27, 2016–

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to be here. It’s so good to be living in South Dakota again. I graduated from Augustana College in 1972 and joined the Navy, and did thirty-two years on active duty. I’d come home once or twice a year for a visit, but that was it, until moving back here to live in 2010.

I thought this morning I would talk about some of the lessons I learned in the thirty-eight years I was gone from the state. (more…)

2014 Memorial Day Speech in Humboldt, South Dakota

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Today we are here to remember those who have died in defense of our nation, that the rest of us might live in peace and freedom. Memorial Day, which began in 1868 as Decoration Day to honor Union soldiers killed in the Civil War, now includes all wars and military actions. Since 1971, when the date was changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May, we have had a three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. I’m glad you took the time to be with us this morning.

Our defenders are still dying. We’ve lost over 6,800 American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years since those wars began. (more…)

Promotion Ceremony Remarks – 9/2/2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Good afternoon, and welcome to the South Dakota Battleship Memorial on this beautiful, hot, sunny afternoon. I am CAPT Diane Diekman, and we’re here today to celebrate the promotion of Anastasia Quanbeck from commander to captain (more…)

Eulogy for Mildred Diekman

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Eulogy for Mildred Diekman
By her daughter
CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret)
25 April 2012

 When Mildred Hanson received her Navy discharge and came home to the Hidewood Valley after World War II, she met a bachelor who had moved to the farm next door. John Diekman had been in the Army during the war. Mildred married him on Valentine’s Day 1947 and moved to the farm one-half mile east, where she spent the rest of her life. The number one song on the radio at the time was Ernest Tubb’s “Rainbow at Midnight,” and it became their song. (more…)

Speech at Navy Birthday Ball 2011

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Navy Birthday Ball, Sioux Falls SD, 15 October 2011:

Good evening, happy birthday, it’s great to be with a bunch of Navy people, and to have an opportunity to wear my formal dress uniform again. I didn’t expect that to happen in Sioux Falls, so this is pretty nice. (more…)

Speech at Navy Memorial — April 4, 2009

Monday, April 27th, 2009

lone-sailor-1988Good afternoon, I am retired Navy Captain Diane Diekman, and my relationship with the Navy Memorial goes back to the time when the Lone Sailor was standing all by himself outside. My greatest day here at the Navy Memorial was my retirement ceremony in 2004. I’d always had a dream of having a retirement ceremony with full dress uniform, with swords and large medals. And it worked out that way. Everybody dressed up for me that day. And if it wasn’t for the Navy, I would be a bashful schoolteacher somewhere in South Dakota, I’m sure. (more…)

Commissioning Speech

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Speech at  commissioning ceremony for CWO2 Vincent “Red” Phipps, USN, at Naval Air Station Norfolk, 1 March 1988

By LCDR Diane Diekman, USN

Several months ago I read a letter in Naval Proceedings that I thought would be perfect to talk about today as Chief Phipps prepares to take the commissioning oath. It was written by retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel W. C. Gregson and talked about the commissioning oath and loyalty to the Constitution. It started with a comparison of the officer and enlisted oaths. Both oaths begin with the pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to that same Constitution.The enlisted oath goes on to talk about obeying orders and following regulations. The commissioning oath does not. It merely amplifies the promise to support and defend the Constitution: “I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or spirit of evasion…”