Memorial Day

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton Jr.

George Patton was not known for political correctness. I imagine that it was a foreign concept to him. He was more suited to plain talk. Unfortunately, his gift to unapologetically call it as he saw it kept him in hot water. Especially with politicians and the news writers of the day and his bosses who had to contend with both.

Memorial Day is near. On this day, we are asked (those of us who still understand the purpose for this day) to mourn those who gave their lives fighting our country’s wars. I stand with General Patton on this one. Instead of mourning their loss, we should get on our knees and thank God for providing them to defend the freedom that He gave to us.

I was traveling this past weekend. Have you ever driven through the Shenandoah Valley on a sunny afternoon? It is quite a sight. Even the 18 wheelers rumbling across Interstate 81 do not detract from the beauty of that small piece of God’s creation. In fact, those big trucks are but one of the symbols of our freedom and national prosperity. Leaving the valley and driving into the green hills, as the state song reminds us “how majestic and how grand”, of West Virginia, I get the same heartfelt wow feeling that I always get whenever I am returning home. Montani Semper Liberi, Mountaineers are always free and God has provided us with a breathtakingly beautiful place in which to enjoy the freedom He gave us.

I have been to other strikingly beautiful places in the United States, from Niagara Falls to Carlsbad New Mexico. I am also fortunate to be able to draw comparisons with other well known sites around the world including such places as the Swiss Alps and Holland’s Tulip fields. Beautiful sites be assured, but there is something I feel in America that I did not feel when visiting those other countries. The spirit of freedom. If you have traveled outside of our borders, you understand that spirit. It is ingrained in Americans. It is in the American DNA.

Our country was founded on one enduring principle. The principle that freedom comes from God and that men must be the guardians of it. I believe that was a divine inspiration. There are plenty who snicker at that thought or who are content to label people who think as me as some sort of religious fanatic. But that is just fine. Just as they are unable to explain with any confidence or certainty how this magnificent creation came to be, neither can they explain how this one nation became the most free, most powerful and most prosperous nation mankind has ever known. Or why it has remained so.

Throughout our history, God has provided courageous Americans willing to battle with those who would try to take the freedom that comes to us from Him. No enemy has been powerful enough to defeat them. But evil does not surrender, it is always lurking. There are other forces at work inside our country that are bent on its destruction. Multiculturalism and hyphenated Americanism among them as well as those who would cheerfully discard our founding documents and constitution. Our Soldiers cannot battle this enemy; it is one for the rest of us. There is also a red herring out there that claims that America is a nation of immigrants and we go to great politically correct lengths to accommodate that ideal. Well, no it is not. It is a nation of Americans. We are one people, E Pluribus Unum “out of many one”, living with shared values under the shared principle of our founding – God given freedom. We must be if we are to continue to exist. Ask any American if he or she would move to the country of his ethnicity and when there refer to himself as an American-Asian or an American-African? His answer will proclaim his allegiance.

On this Memorial Day, think about what it means to be an American. Contemplate all of the things that are happening in our country today in the name of diversity and tolerance that undermine our national motto and our most enduring founding principle. Then get on your knees and thank God for this place and for the American men and women who have sacrificed throughout our history to defend the freedom we enjoy in this most blessed nation. Then take up the fight that our Soldiers cannot.

© 2010

One Reply to “Memorial Day”

  1. Dee

    What winsdom our founding fathers had! They recognized the God-given freedoms as those that needed protecting and preserving. The freedom that man gives us, man can take away. God-given freedoms must be maintained to keep America in tact.

    I am grateful for this wonderful piece of writing. Although I would much rather have JD speak in person at my Memorial Day service at my home, I will be satisfied to read this column. And it’s not who comes for the service that counts as much as having the service in the first place. I hope everyone takes a few moments from their holiday weekend to say some special words in honor and appreciation of those who live and have lived to protect and serve. God bless America, and may God HELP America through these challenging times.

    God bless America, and may God HELP America through these challenging times.

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