My wife, Rocky, and I were eating at a local fast food restaurant when she mentioned an older gentleman coming in, presumably with his grandson’s family. He was wearing a WWII veteran’s cap with a lot of ribbons sewed on it. His legs were a bit unsteady but he didn’t seem to need help, no walker or cane. You could tell by looking at the wrinkles on his weathered face that he had “been there, done that.” As we were leaving, I had to go up to him and thank him, no conversation, just a simple “Thank You.”
As we have just come out of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I couldn’t help but reflect on the difference between the America that this old vet had protected, and the America of today. Thinking back on America of 1940, we were watching the events in Europe and the Far East with some trepidation. There were many in the US who wanted desperately to stay out of the fray. Remember, WWI was only 20 years prior. That was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” Now it was looking like the job wasn’t over.
Then the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Admiral Yamamoto is said to have been against attacking the US mainland, saying that there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass. Whether he actually said this is up for debate, but the sentiment is correct. An attack on our nation, with which the Japanese Empire was not at war, melded the American people into one mind with one voice. With reports coming out of Europe and now the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans knew that this was a war we had to win. There was a unity of purpose that had never been seen in this country, even greater than that experienced during the Revolution. Everybody was ready to sacrifice for the war effort.
Now, fast forward to today. When you read, or watch the news, there is absolutely no mention of what would be good for the nation, but rather how quickly the president can be impeached or indicted. The president and the Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority leader constantly bicker. The National and international news media seem to be working for, or at least on the same side as, the leftists. They cloak their hatred of the president with an insincere, self-righteous concern about America. With this apparent complicity from the media, those who look only at leftist media view the president as the devil incarnate.
When I was young, I listened to my parents and learned certain values: what is right, what is wrong; and what does America stand for, what is right for Americans to do in pursuit of our goals, domestic and global. I think, to some extent, this parental influence is still there, but the lessons taught are not those of our fathers. Lessons do not include patriotism and national pride.
On 1 February 1968, a Viet Cong fighter, Nguyen Van Lem, was summarily executed by BGen Nguyen Ngoc Loan, Chief of the Republic of Vietnam National Police. This event was captured on film and photo for all the world to see. This became the turning point and rally cry for the anti-war faction in America. No matter that Lem had just slit the throats of South Vietnamese Lt Col Nguyen Tuan, his wife, their six children and the officer’s 80-year-old mother. For the most part, the press became one of the enemy, misrepresenting events in the war to their American public, encouraging Americans to hate anyone advocating for it or fighting in it. Veterans coming home from the war were vilified.
“Main stream media” seem to have perfected their craft. Those who fought against the war, those we used to call the “hippies” of the ‘60s and ‘70s, are now in positions of power. They hungrily read Bill Ayers’ “Rules for Radicals” and other Communist writings. One very prominent Ayers disciple, Barrack Obama is a prime example. The children of the ‘60s and ‘70s have grown up with a much kinder, and I may say eager, opinion of Communism and Socialism than those of us who were reared by the “greatest generation.”
Today we are not seeing the patriotism that was put on display by those like the old vet in the fast food restaurant. I see fewer and fewer retiring people, men and women, who are veterans. There just doesn’t seem to be the consuming urgency to protect our way of life or our heritage that we witnessed in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
What is the answer? I think we can trace the downward spiral of national disrespect to the time when we took God out of the public forum, and especially out of the classroom. Taking God out of our lives made it easier to take patriotism out of our lives. How is this possible, you ask? Easy, when you start to discredit a person’s belief system, it is a simple matter to increase this system of disbelief. I find this extremely distressing. Our Founding Fathers had a profound faith in the Creator. When that faith was legislated away from the public square, the slippery slope was started.
Now we are seeing daily the loss of these wonderful patriots who fought for our freedom to worship our God; we have let them down. That generation that gave so selflessly to ensure that we could live free in this, the most wonderful country ever devised by man