Originally posted on November 11, 2011, for Veteran’s Day, I cannot improve on this. Thus, at the risk of self-aggrandizement, which would be truly ironic given the nature of this post, I present it for your edification again.
We call them the Greatest Generation. They fought what was probably the last war in which moral clarity was not attacked and eroded by the enemy within, at least not to the extent to which is done today. In many cases they were barely out of high school, and lied about their age to get in, driven by a sense of duty to country that has become an endangered species in many places these days. (I thank God for the many who still have it and are now in uniform or preparing to put one on.)
History tells us of the tremendous toll paid by these young men, both in the lives given in the ultimate sacrifice, and all too frequently in the havoc wrought upon the lives of those whose souls were maimed by the carnage they witnessed and in which the enemy made necessary for them to participate. Yet because they had moral clarity in their day, they acknowledge with both their words and their deeds that the defense of liberty is worth such a cost. Our world is fallen and evil is present, definable, and represented by individuals and groups within the human race despite what your liberal “multiculti” teachers may have tried to tell you.
I have always respected and held the veterans of this conflict (and any other conflict) in high esteem, being an avid student of the history of WWII, but had never had the opportunity to know any such very closely. That changed in November of 2008 when I met my step-father for the first time since he married my mother three years earlier. My step-father was 86 years old at the time and had been in the U.S. Army Air Corp. (later to become the U.S. Air Force) during WWII as an aerial photographer. At age 19, he apparently had no problem hanging out of bomb bay doors during bombing runs to get the necessary surveillance pictures with nothing but a buddy sitting on his legs to keep him from plummeting out with the rest of the payload.
He is also a survivor of Iwo Jima.
Iwo Jima. The words should immediately remind the student of history of the famous flag raising. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific campaign. He was in the second wave and so missed the worst of the initial assault. But he saw his share of blood and body parts and lost his share of friends and buddies. When asked for some of his war stories, he broke down in tears only once during his brief visit with us. Most of the time, and indeed, throughout most of his life since the war, he has been one of those who adjusted back into civilian life with the strength of God’s grace and the American spirit. His sense of humor was alive, active, and put you ROFLOL without resorting to crudity or vulgarity. My mother was blessed to have had God’s providence bring this man to her, and I am honored to have called him my step-father.
And this honorable man was very distressed by what he saw going on in this country today. That distress was primarily caused by the fact that he saw the freedoms for which he fought and for which his friends died being surrendered to the onslaught of leftist liberalism more and more each day. He was incensed at the Democrat’s defeatism in the war on terrorism, and he was appalled by the gutless wonders on both sides of the aisle who cannot see beyond their own personal power struggle to the real dangers in the world threatening our country and, indeed, the entire world.
The astute reader will have noticed that all the verbs in the above description of this man are in the past tense. Saturday night, February 19, 2011, at about 11:00 PM, my step-father (I’ll call him Joe) received his final wish and was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Jacob/Israel of old, he was able to have last words with each of his children and loved ones, and then was “gathered to his people.” I have no doubt that he will hear those words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord!”
You see, although my personal relationship was carried out almost entirely by long distance phone calls, in the same way astronomers deduce the presence of a planet by its effects on other heavenly bodies, so Joe’s character could be readily deduced by its impact on the lives of others, and most notably on that of my Mom.
I did have that one opportunity to observe Joe firsthand when they were eventually able to visit us, and in that short time, I truly grew to love and respect this gentle giant. (And by giant, I don’t mean in stature but in Christian integrity.) His sense of humor was infectious, his faith in his God triumphant, and his care for my Mom obvious. How could I not love this man? It was with no difficulty at all, and the very truth, that I shook his hand as they were leaving and told him point blank that I was proud to call him “Dad.”
That pride was even more reinforced by my phone calls with my Mom and Joe in the ensuing years. The joy and happiness, in the Lord and not in frivolous things, that Joe inspired in my Mom was such a blessing to observe. I was constantly challenged by the calm acceptance of the physical pain he endured as his body succumbed to age but his spirit clung to the truths of Scripture and rejoiced in the Lord regardless, truly a living lesson in Philippians 4 (the whole chapter!) attitudes.
The strength I’ve seen in my Mom in the last months leading up to his graduation as Joe’s health declined and he was hospitalized is a direct reflection of the spiritual life Joe nurtured in her, and while I weep over the events that have required the utilization of that strength those last days, I rejoice that my Mom has had that strength at her disposal planted in her from her time with her husband.
So, yes, I know my step-father is now enjoying his rest from pain and his audience with his Lord. May I find the same strength of character and follow in his footsteps to the foot of the same cross of our Lord and Savior. Amen.
As a measure of the character of the man and those like him, I give you a short piece he wrote last Veteran’s Day that was published in their local paper regarding the meaning of that day.
Army Air Forces, World War II
November 11, 2010
I am an Iwo Jima survivor, and Veterans Day to me represents the sacrifices our men and women endured during the wars.
As a combat veteran, I am appalled as to what is happening to the freedom that was bought by the lives of all servicemen and women. It seems that those in power have totally forgotten what our Constitution stands for and the oath that they swore to uphold. They should be ashamed of what they are doing in Washington.
Recently I had the honor to visit Arlington National Cemetery. I stood in awe of the many graves that represent the price paid for the freedoms we enjoy.
Please, each and every president, senator and congressman, visit this hallowed place, examine yourselves and honor those brave men and women by standing up for what you once swore to uphold. Be not a Democrat or Republican or independent, but be an honest and truthful public servant. God bless and save America.
So am I going anywhere with this? The writer of the book of Hebrews captures the thought: “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb 12:4) In 2008, the GOP had its head handed to it on a platter…again. Yet, as the polls and pundits repeatedly said, conservatism did not lose, the GOP that abandoned conservatism lost. Still, the pragmatic outcome was that conservatism was in the back seat watching someone else drive the car, and they appeared to be driving it towards a cliff.
We are that much closer to the cliff’s edge today, and we have another opportunity to do something about it in the upcoming election. If we are to prevent the car from being driven off the cliff, we cannot sit back and enjoy the ride, pointing fingers at each other and everyone else. Let us learn from the Greatest Generation that there are some things worth fighting for, and that our liberties fall into that category. Duty and honor require it of us now as it did then for the Greatest Generation.
While I’m not a fan of “rock” music, the power of music in this video helps transmit the message with clarity, the sentiment is on target and the various comparisons made throughout give a sobering reality check for those who think otherwise.
Here’s another classic that speaks volumes and is well worth the time to watch it all:
And truly let us not forget…
Hint: it’s not the barbecue, but the freedom to have a barbecue at all.
OK, so some of these just made me laugh (like the first one)…others may make you want to cry. Once again, the cartoonists’ ability to summarize a situation in one picture shows its power. In no particular order then:
Ah, yes, reminds me of this!
Ol’ Sol ain’t the only thing eclipsing these days!
Some interesting contrasts:
I wonder which sign is more appropriate?
A broken record of records broken…
Whew! And here I thought my caffeine addiction was going to do me in!
Aaaand, coming full circle (in this cycle of cartoons):
…the liberal “mind,” such as it is:
Sorry, but the supremely arrogant hubris this displays goes beyond anything even the most liberal of previous presidents has done. It plunges to the depths of childishness. Fortunately we have the biblical promise that “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
(HT: Hugh Hewitt)
I call it the Cooked Frog Syndrome (CFS). It’s the tendency to overlook the nature of an entity’s conduct because the evidence that forms the big picture is so spread out over time that one fails to formulate an objective picture of what’s really going on. Just as a frog thrown into hot water will immediately jump out, were all the data presented at once, the correct conclusion is much more readily achieved. But by throwing the frog into cold water and then slowly turning up the heat, the frog remains unconscious of the impending danger of its toasty demise. To the former end, Hugh Hewitt’s find which I’ve reproduced below tells a very sad tale of the assault on our Constitution under the current administration that liberals and the left don’t want you to realize. Hopefully this list will open some eyes. I’ve added bullet points to the list to make the examples clearer to read. The final question I’ve bolded for emphasis. Think about it.
The weekly column from Clark Judge:
The Constitutional Convention and The 2012 Election
by Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
Today is Monday, May 14. In 1787, also on Monday, May 14th, in Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention held its opening session.
Now, two hundred and twenty five years later, we are engaged in a great presidential campaign that, at its most essential level, is about the future of the governmental system the delegates to that convention wrought. For in the last four years we have seen challenges to the long accepted meaning of many of the features and guarantees of the Philadelphia constitution.
In no particular order, here are examples:
- The manner of recent presidential appointments including to the National Labor Relations Board challenged widely shared understandings about the constitutionally mandated advice and consent role of the Senate.
- The expansive and aggressive use of regulation – for example, EPA’s moves to reclassify CO2 as a pollutant because of its supposed impact on climate after Congress had repeatedly rejected similar proposals – has challenged the line between legislative and executive powers.
- By overriding bondholders, this administration’s federal auto bailout arguably challenged long understood constitutional limits to taking property without due process and upset the constitutionally mandated uniform rules of bankruptcy.
- By requiring Catholic and other religiously affiliated institutions to provide health coverage that violated basic denominational beliefs, federal Obamacare challenged the widely understood standards of religious liberty.
- In this year’s state of the union address, the president suggested that during a second term he would compel states to accept his spending priorities as their own, anticipating a challenge to the constitutional concept of federalism, as long understood.
- As former White House counsel Boyden Gray has pointed out, the framing of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill that the administration championed so vigorously challenges fundamental constitutional rules regarding judicial review.
- As Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested in the recent high court hearings on the administration’s signature health care legislation, the central feature of Obamacare challenges the long-established relationship between the government and the citizen, in other words, basic constitutional understandings of liberty.
Reading the record of the Philadelphia deliberations, you can’t help but be struck at how seriously the Framers took the purposes detailed in the Constitution’s preamble: “form a more perfect union… establish justice… insure domestic tranquility… provide for the common defense… promote the general welfare… secure the blessings of liberty.” These terms come up repeatedly in their debates as failures of government under the Articles of Confederation and as the goals for their project.
Would they have said that the Fast and Furious program is an example of establishing justice?
Would they have agreed that radically downsizing the Navy provides for the common defense?
Is a reelection campaign designed to stoke animosity between economic and social groups consistent with insuring domestic tranquility?
Most of all, perhaps, when our senior military officer names the national debt our biggest national security challenge… when bond rating agencies downgrade the country’s credit standing… when major federal trust funds are careening toward bankruptcy… when general fund deficits and debt are projected permanently to top levels previously seen only in the single most expensive year of World War II, thanks to spending beyond levels we have ever seen, at least in peacetime… is utterly refusing to address any element of this spending crisis an example of providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare or securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity?
These are not just my questions. In calls around the country over the last few weeks, I have repeatedly heard anxiety expressed about the future of America’s fundamental institutions: the open economy, the family, religious liberty, as well as the Constitution.
Yes, anemic economic growth and the lack of job creation are major worries, too. Many ask, how could the administration have spent so much money for, we were told, stimulating the economy and got so little for it?
Granting all that, still I wonder, is it too much to say that this election is shaping up into a new Constitutional Convention, in which we the people will decide the character of our country for generations to come?