Thank you Ted for starting this thread.
My respect and admiration for the men and women of America’s armed forces is sincere and deep. During the years of my public school education, I learned about the honor, valor and sacrifice that those in the military (who lived before my time) gave of themselves to protect and preserve our American way of life.
Since my youth in World War II, I have seen similar sacrifices freely given by devoted young Americans. I am grateful and humbled by such great patriots.
What sticks in my craw is the criticism leveled against us that says we
Americans are Imperialists. Colin Powell stated quite emphatically the fallacy of this criticism when he recalled to all that the only land we occupy in foreign lands are those burial plots in which our fallen military rest.
What I believe about American Imperialism is that American has, throughout its history, helped all others shake off the yoke of tyrannical oppression without our asking for anything in return. For, we believe that they like us “possess natural rights that include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is the men and women of our armed forces that have make freedom possible for these people. And, it is because of our armed forces that we live today as free Americans.
Zell Miller commented in his keynote speech at the Republican Conventions, clear words that better express what I mean:
“….And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.
Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.
Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers.
Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.
Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”
I salute you my young countrymen who serve today. I am proud of you and ask God’s blessing for you.
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.