Though it seems that the majority of people focus on this long holiday weekend as being the start of summer and therefore the perfect excuse to party, Memorial Day is when we remember those who “gave it all” in service to this great nation. From the first moment of the American Revolution, there have always been those willing to take up their arms and make manifest our collective belief in the principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” against those who would seek to destroy it.
It is not an easy thing to die in defense of one’s beliefs. Ask any veteran who has experienced combat or ask any family who has watched their son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife bravely wave one last time as they walk onto the ship or airplane or bus that will take them to join their comrades; we may shed a tear at the news of the fallen, but it is they who must forever live with the real nightmares.
In yesterday’s radio address, President Obama said:
“Our fighting men and women – and the military families who love them – embody what is best in America. And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us.
And yet, all too often in recent years and decades, we, as a nation, have failed to live up to that responsibility. We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve. That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear – and all who have worn – the proud uniform of our country.”
While I agree with his first sentence, I take great offense at the audacity of his second. Perhaps this is an example of the blindness of self-righteousness; having been raised by socialists and raised abroad, a life lived in the bubble of “progressive” liberal academia and buddied-up with radicals, it seems that President Obama doesn’t remember what disrespect of our fighting men and women really means. I do remember, though. The protests against the war in Vietnam, the horrible, rude treatment of returning service personnel – including being spat upon and called “baby killers” – and then the collective mea culpa that came with Desert Storm. We, the people, made a vow we would not repeat our mistakes. We, the people, may not have liked the decision that led to sending our military service personnel to the Middle East but, despite Obama’s convenient memory lapse, we supported our troops. Just the other day I came across an old sweatshirt lovingly stashed away; it is proudly emblazoned with the words, “These Colors Don’t Run”. Those words, and that support, still rings true today.
I, like many others, have been touched personally by both World Wars, by Vietnam, by Desert Storm, and by 9/11. I, like many others, hold our military personnel in high regard. I know of no veteran – including my own spouse – who does not in turn respect former President Bush and former Vice-President Dick Cheney. They know full well that they had the unwavering support of both men, and they know that support continues to be unwaveringly demonstrated. They see Obama’s continuing slander against the Bush administration for what it is – a sly and snarky attempt to demand what is, quite rightly, unearned and therefore undeserved respect, and hence a back-handed slap of them, too.
And so by disrespecting his predecessors and our troops, on this Memorial Day weekend, President Obama speaks ill of the dead. Like so much of his incoherent, nonsensical rhetoric, it is yet another shameful example of the dangers we now face within our own borders.
As the long weekend rolls on, and especially tomorrow, it is those who are no longer able to raise their glasses in a toast to freedom of whom I will be thinking. Haunted by chairs and tables that are not empty, but instead filled with the greatest courage. And remembering the words of this one soldier, who so eloquently spoke out against the election of Barack Hussein Obama.