The climax of "One More Pallbearer", when Mrs. Langsford, Reverend Hughes, and Colonel Hawthorne refuse to gratify Paul Radin's egotistical demands in exchange for his shelter, choosing to retain their honor and compassion, wing it and spend their last minutes of life with friends and family before the (staged) nuclear war occurs. And after all the prolonged berating the petty Radin gave them, they manage to break him with comparatively fewer words.
Radin: "You're too blind or you're too stupid, because none of you seem to understand. All you have to do—literally, all you have to do—is to say a sentence. Just a string of silly, stupid words. Like a command, colonel, or like a lesson, teacher, or like a prayer, reverend. All you have to say is you're sorry. All right, you want to die, fine. But you'll be back inside five minutes. There's the elevator! Take it! Take the farce to its conclusion. Go up into the street and see the panic and the frenzy and the horror. And then come back down here to your salvation. Or you can watch it all down here on that screen. You can see it all happen, the whole thing. Watch the world being shoveled into a grave. It's your last chance. It's your last chance, I mean it. Tell me, reverend, is life so stinking cheap that you can throw it down a drain?"
Hughes: "Life is very dear, Mr. Radin, infinitely valuable. But there are other things that come even higher. Honor is one of them—perhaps the most expensive of them all."
Langsford: "Try not to get too lonely, Mr. Radin. Use mirrors. They may help. Put them all around the room. Then you'll have the company of a world full of Radins. It'll be a fantasy, of course, but then your whole life has been a fantasy, a parade of illusions- illusions about what people have done to you, illusions about what justice is, illusions about what is the dignity of even the lowest of us. A fantasy, Mr. Radin, and you can have it all to yourself."
- Mrs. Langsford gets just before that as well. Immediately after Radin presents his gloating demands—a prolonged, humiliating apology in exchange for a place in his shelter—she interrupts and cuts him down by pointing out that he's doing exactly what spoiled brats do when they want something: asking "pretty please." The Colonel and Reverend follow her example by not even entertaining Radin's offer for a moment.
Langsford: "Pretty please with sugar on it."
Radin: "How's that? Speak up, teacher."
Langsford: "Pretty please with sugar on it. It's what children say to exact a favor. I don't want your favor, Mr. Radin! Let me out of here! If I'm to spend my last quarter hour on Earth I'd rather spend it with a stray cat or alone in Central Park or in a city full of strangers whose names I'll never know."
Colonel Sloan's speech to the colonists at the end of "On Thursday We Leave For Home". The leader of the colonists, Captain Benteen, formerly kept the colonists together with the idea that a ship would come to take them back to Earth, because the world they had found was practically uninhabitable, but when the rescue arrives, he's less than willing to give up his authority. He tries to convince them that Earth is a terrible place, and death is certain for all of them if they go. This is how Colonel Sloan responds:
Sloan: Captain Benteen! Why don't you let your children vote on it?!
Benteen: Only if they know what's waiting for them! Only if they know the Earth is not a garden. It never was a garden! And it never will be a garden!
Sloan: Fair enough! Fair enough. Then I'll tell you what Earth is. It's a race of men, struggling for survival. Just as you have survived. And Captain Benteen is quite right when he tells you it isn't a place of all beauty. We may yet have wars, and there still remains prejudice, and I suppose as long as men walk, there will be angry men, jealous men, unforgiving men. But it has one thing that you don't have! One thing. It lets every man be his own master. There won't be any Captain Benteens down there for you. There won't be anybody to tell you when to eat and when to sleep and when to meet. There won't be anyone to tell you when to dance or when to sing or how to play. And instead of the thirst, you may feel hunger! Instead of heat, you may feel cold! But you'll be men and women, you won't be sheep! You won't be a kindergarten! And when you pray to God, his name won't be Benteen!