by Atlas Shrugs
What can I say? What words could I find to express my thanks for the sacrifice made by my countrymen, so that the individual could live free in the most exceptional country in the history of the world?
Atlas reader Van wrote:
AMERICA IN A DIFFERENT TIME
While America finds herself mired in three wars on this Memorial Day, and the 67th anniversary of D-Day approaches next week, many Americans do not know why we celebrate these events, other than they herald the unofficial start of Summer, picnics and holiday vacations.
Memorial Day is set aside as the day that America officially honors her warriors who have died in battle, past and present, so that the citizens of this greatest Nation would be free.
Historically, the President lays a wreath at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on this day.
In the context of today, our younger generations will not understand the state of the world at that time, the Allied victory in WWII, nor, the significance of D-Day, the greatest military campaign in our nation's history. Most were not even born then and the date, 6 June 1944, seems like ancient history to them. The men who served in WWII are growing old and their numbers dwindle daily.
These brave men who landed on those hostile foreign shores would be disgusted to see what has become of their America today. We have, sadly, lost our way.
It appears that America has drifted from the course laid down by the Founders. We have lost that moral compass, confused as to our mission in the changing world since then, and are wandering in the wilderness. We know from history how that ancient story turned out. We do not know how this chapter will. Only the passage of time will reveal if we were on the right side of history.
When there is time for some quiet thought and reflection, I frequently go to the park. Though I call it a park, it's actually the Veteran's Section of the cemetery here. As I sit on the bench and look out over the garden of tiny red, white and blue American flags sprouting there, I think of these men we've lost. Visions of The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan, and Blackhawk Down come to mind, as well as the iconic war images of photographer Robert Capa.
I know none of these men at rest here, who they were, how they lived, who they loved. But, I see some of those who loved them. They come here with flowers, flags and ribbons in hand, lingering at the markers to talk to their memories with tears in their eyes.
What I do know is that these men served their country in a time of crisis. We should be eternally grateful for their sacrifice. We are here today because they were there that day, and I'm certain that they expected us to carry on in their footsteps, entrusting us to preserve and protect this fragile freedom and liberty that is the hallmark of America. This freedom was not free, as the word falsely implies. It never was. It never will be. It always comes at a very high price. Sitting here today, I am looking at that price. All gave some. Some gave all.
I ask God to bless them. And to bless us now, that we might, again, find our way and restore America to the greatness of that time.
I liked what Atlas reader Jim Baxter had to say in the comments section.
Every September, I recall that is now more than 65 years since I landed at Nagasaki with the 2nd Marine Division in the original occupation of Japan following World War II. This time every year, I have watched and listened to the light-hearted "peaceniks" and their light-headed symbolism-without-substance of ringing bells, flying pigeons, floating candles, and sonorous chanting and I recall again that "Peace is not a cause - it is an effect."
In July, 1945, my fellow 8th RCT Marines [I was an ARman] and I returned to Saipan following the successful conclusion of the Battle of Okinawa. We were issued new equipment and replacements joined each outfit in preparation for our coming amphibious assault on the home islands of Japan.
B-29 bombing had leveled the major cities of Japan, including Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Yokosuka, and Tokyo.
We were informed we would land three Marine divisions and six Army divisions, perhaps abreast, with large reserves following us in. It was estimated that it would cost half a million casualties to subdue the Japanese homeland.
In August, the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima but the Japanese government refused to surrender. Three days later a second A-bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The Imperial Japanese government finally surrendered.
Following the 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese admiral said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." Indeed, they had. Not surprisingly, the atomic bomb was produced by a free people functioning in a free environment. Not surprisingly because the creative process is a natural human choice-making process and inventiveness occurs most readily where choice-making opportunities abound. America!
Tamper with a giant, indeed! Tyrants, beware: Free men are nature's pit bulls of Liberty! The Japanese learned the hard way what tyrants of any generation should know: Never start a war with a free people - you never know what they may invent!
As a newly assigned member of a U.S. Marine intelligence section, I had a unique opportunity to visit many major cities of Japan, including Tokyo and Hiroshima, within weeks of their destruction. For a full year I observed the beaches, weapons, and troops we would have assaulted had the A-bombs not been dropped. Yes, it would have been very destructive for all, but especially for the people of Japan.
When we landed in Japan, for what came to be the finest and most humane occupation of a defeated enemy in recorded history, it was with great appreciation, thanksgiving, and praise for the atomic bomb team, including the aircrew of the Enola Gay. A half million American homes had been spared the Gold Star flag, including, I'm sure, my own.
Whenever I hear the apologists expressing guilt and shame for A-bombing and ending the war Japan had started (they ignore the cause-effect relation between Pearl Harbor and Nagasaki), I have noted that neither the effete critics nor the puff-adder politicians are among us in the assault landing-craft or the stinking rice paddies of their suggested alternative, "conventional" warfare. Stammering reluctance is obvious and continuous, but they do love to pontificate about the Rights that others, and the Bomb, have bought and preserved for them.
The vanities of ignorance and camouflaged cowardice abound as license for the assertion of virtuous "rights" purchased by the blood of others - those others who have borne the burden and physical expense of Rights whining apologists so casually and self-righteously claim.
At best, these fakers manifest a profound and cryptic ignorance of causal relations, myopic perception, and dull I.Q. At worst, there is a word and description in The Constitution defining those who love the enemy more than they love their own countrymen and their own posterity. Every Yankee Doodle Dandy knows what that word is.
In 1945, America was the only nation in the world with the Bomb and it behaved responsibly and respectfully. It remained so until two among us betrayed it to the Kremlin. Still, this American weapon system has been the prime deterrent to earth's latest model world- tyranny: Seventy years of Soviet collectivist definition, coercion, and domination of individual human beings.
The message is this: Trust Freedom. Remember, tyrants never learn. The restriction of Freedom is the limitation of human choice, and choice is the fulcrum-point of the creative process in human affairs. As earth's choicemaker, it is our human identity on nature's beautiful blue planet and the natural premise of man's free institutions, environments, and respectful relations with one another. Made in the image of our Creator, free men choose, create, and progress - or die.
Free men should not fear the moon-god-crowd oppressor nor choose any of his ways. Recall with a confident Job and a victorious David, "Know ye not you are in league with the stones of the field?"
WW II and Korean War
point-man/follower of The Lion of Judah
5th Grade Teacher - 30 wonderful years!
Atlas readers, please join me in Florida June 12th at a fundraiser to benefit the troops CRCC (CONCUSSION RESTORATION CARE CENTER) at Cam...
Also, I am proud to be part of this years anti-jihadists Troopathon.
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