by Diane Rufino, June 1, 2021
Yesterday, we Americans remembered and honored all the soldiers who have offered the greatest sacrifice in service of our country – their last full measure. Those soldiers who have died, or been wounded and later died, in battle – and those who are willing to – deserve the honor and respect of all Americans, and not just on Memorial Day, but every single day. Every time we gaze upon the American flag, we should be reminded of the courage our brave men and women faced in situations that can only be described as pure hell and because of their sacrifice, and their willingness to fight to the end, we are able to enjoy their holiday in peace and security and able to exercise the God-given and natural rights our Founders secured for us in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
As Ronald Reagan so famously stated: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
The best way we can honor our fallen soldiers is by loving our country and standing up for what is right, moral, and just. We can also continue to honor our fallen soldiers by continuing to follow the law (rightfully and legally passed and enacted), to abide by the Constitution and to force (through our local and state governments, and the court system) the government to do the same, and to exercise our essential rights rigorously.
Day after day, we see our Constitution pushed farther and farther aside. But we have a First Amendment to protect us especially in political speech and we need to use it to alert our fellow citizens when any government, but especially the federal government, abuses and exceeds the power given to it under the Constitution. That is tyranny and should never be tolerated., Our soldiers didn’t give their lives to allow the government to run amuck over our freedoms and to regulate us like petulant children. When the First Amendment fails to work (such as when the government itself censors our speech and vilifies us, characterizing us as “domestic terrorists” or “rightwing lunatics” or “deplorables,” then we always have the bedrock amendment – the Second Amendment…. the right to keep and bear arms for our personal protection (and for our ability to protect our state) against all enemies, foreign and domestic (including our own government).
NEVER stop defending the Second Amendment. In the end, it may come down to that most essential of rights. If we have both the God-given and natural right to life, then by corollary, we have the God-given and natural right to defend it (by all means possible). We refer to it as the “Right of Self-Defense” or “Right of Self-Preservation.” In this dangerous era when part of the country has little or no respect for the Constitution or our founding principle based on Individual Rights and wants an all-powerful, all-encompassing government that should have the power to control its citizens and the other part holds dear our founding principles, believes our country stands for freedom, and wants a government limited as the Constitution directs. Our soldiers fight for both of these groups. Sadly, as they fight and die, the ones who seem to be benefitting are the ones corrupting our country.
Whenever I see an American flag, I am reminded not of our current politics or the scandals and bad decisions of our government, or its attempts to constrain us in our exercise of our liberties, but rather, what she stands for. The flag stands for freedom and our enduring commitment to it. Men and women died for her ideals. There is no greater love for fellow man than to lay down his or her life for them. The flag was a source of unity and pride and encouragement and increased moral on the battlefield. It has always been a rallying cry for freedom, for the desire to liberate oppressed people of the world, and the hope of spreading our ideals abroad. Petty politics and views need to be put aside when it comes to the symbolism of our great and beautiful American flag.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) tells us that over 1 million Americans have given their lives in service to their country, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Can you fathom the hell the young men faced during the Civil War, fighting sometimes face to face, hand to hand, and the challenges the American colonial patriots faced as a rag-tag group of militias against perhaps the finest fighting force in the world. Then there was the new age of warfare – fighter planes, tanks, battleships, machine guns, missiles, and yes, even the atomic bomb. This is what our young men faced in WWI and WWII. Who can forget the extreme patriotism that swelled up even our American teens when they learned that freedom was being attacked across the ocean and then on our own shores. They immediately, and without reservation (often with great enthusiasm and pride) went to sign up and enlist to serve. And who can even begin to imagine the horrors our young men faced in the backwards countries of Vietnam and Korea (jungle warfare) and the death-obsessed Islamic countries of the Middle East. In times of darkness, we, America, must be the light. Our soldiers carry that light so others can benefit.
When Donald Trump was our President, he focused on our heroes in his official Memorial Day statement, and it went over very well with many citizens. In one message, he proclaimed:
“On this Memorial Day, we remember the fallen heroes who took their last breaths in defense of our Nation, our families, our citizens, and our sacred freedoms. The depth of their devotion, the steel of their resolve, and the purity of their patriotism has no equal in human history. It is because of their gallantry that we can together, as one people, continue our pursuit of America’s glorious destiny….
We owe all that we are, and everything we ever hope to be, to these unrivaled heroes. Their memory and their legacy is immortal. Our loyalty to them and to their families is eternal and everlasting.
America’s warriors are the single greatest force for justice, peace, liberty, and security among all the nations ever to exist on earth. God bless our fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen, and Marines.”
I hope everyone had a most wonderful Memorial Day. And we appreciate those who took the time to remember the reason for the holiday before getting out in the beautiful weather to enjoy a burger and some beer.
Ben Dutka, “Trump Sends “Unrivaled Heroes” Memorial Day Message – He Claims American Warriors Are The “Greatest Force For Justice, Liberty, And Peace,” Patriot Journal, May 31, 2021. Referenced at: https://thepatriotjournal.com/trump-heroes-message-force-peace/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=2020newsletter