Once again, tomorrow (May 27th) is Memorial Day. As a Vietnam veteran, each year since starting my BLOG in 2003, I’ve offered my own tribute to all who have lost their lives in the defense of this nation’s way of life. But I’ve always included first responders—paid and volunteer—as part of it.
I’ve always included them because the masses—that’s MOST of us, either on our own or under instructions—always run FROM the chaos. But police officers, firefighters, and legions of emergency medical personnel intuitively run towards it. So, it’s always made perfect sense to me to include them.
Our troops go WHENEVER they’re so ordered TO where ever they’re so ordered… NO QUESTIONS ASKED! And our first responders RESPOND, no matter the circumstances or dangers involved… NO QUESTIONS ASKED!
And like clockwork, windbag politicians come out of the woodwork every Memorial Day gaggling ad nauseum about the wonderful guarantees that our Founding Fathers, through the graces of our “Creator,” left to us via our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Yet contrary to popular opinion, our Constitution guarantees NOTHING! It’s a wonderful document that was set to fine parchment 226 years ago this coming September 19. It specified the relationships and governing protocols between the governed and the government.
Also contrary to popular opinion, our hard-fought rights and freedoms have NEVER been “gifts” from anyone, mortal or immortal.
The only rights any country has are the ones its people are both WILLING and ABLE to defend. And for the United States of America, herein lies the fate of any GUARANTEES set forth within our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
From the day we TOOK our rights from England’s King George through the present, we’ve always possessed a national willingness to sacrifice in order to provide the requisite military might to defend our freedoms, to the death if necessary, against all who would dare to deprive us of them.
God’s alleged fondness for America notwithstanding, we’d do well NOT to ignore the fact that any correlation between strong nations that are willing and able to defend themselves and those same nations’ longevity as sovereign and free, is as close to 100% as it gets.
It’s asinine for politicians to paint this nation as God’s cosmic favorite—since whether it is or isn’t is a matter of faith. Nor have we ever been some sort of luck-struck free nation of F-Troop fools simply because a variously-described Deity has lavished favor upon us.
At our coming-out party, a ragtag civilian volunteer army of outnumbered, untrained, and woefully under-armed musket bearers slowly defeated the most powerful armed forces of the times. And they did it out of a sheer determination to remain free or, die in the process.
To this day, our determination to remain free or die has never wavered. Only today, it’s OUR armed force that is the most dedicated and powerful in the world.
But our indebtedness isn’t just to our military troops; we’re also indebted to ALL who serve honorably in related quasi-military and purely civilian roles. Their missions are similar, though often less direct and obvious.
During my time in Viet Nam, I never witnessed any of my fellow combatants chomping at the bit with eagerness to “GIVE” their lives in our nation’s defense. However, their constantly demonstrated readiness to put themselves sufficiently in harm’s way on our behalf made the TAKING of their lives a distinct possibility.
THIS is why they deserve the eternal gratitude of a proud and grateful nation! They’re forever silent, but must NEVER be forgotten. Click here to watch and listen to a young lady play Il Silenzio (The Silence). It is the most moving full rendition of Taps that I’ve ever heard.
Have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day!