Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Holding High the Torch

Yesterday Summer was officially ushered in by Memorial Day! Every year we enjoy kicking off summer break with swimming, cooking out, and dressing in red, white, and blue!  
My family gathered with some friends for a traditional celebration: hamburgers, hot dogs, cupcakes, homemade ice cream, and lots of games.
What did you do for Memorial Day?
Memorial Day has become symbolic of the beginning of summer. But it means much more than that. In the midst of the summer fun and celebration, how many of us truly stop to ponder the true reason for this holiday?
Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember all those brave men and women who have fought for our freedom, and died. They deserve our attention and reminiscence, even if it's a day late.

In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

From the Patriots who fought to create a nation over two hundred years ago, to the soldiers who fight to preserve our nation today, millions of brave souls have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live in a free country.
These American heroes understand what freedom costs. They have witnessed life void of freedom. They have battled enemies that would rob us of our liberty, and they understand that the U.S.A. is a precious gift worth dying for.

It is because of these men and women that many Americans are oblivious to the tyranny that reigns in the rest of the world. Sometimes our troops are even ridiculed and persecuted! But they have fought - and are fighting - so that those people can continue to live in oblivion. They are defending the rights of each and every one of us to hold our own opinion.
War is an ugly, horrible business. No one wants to go to war. But our heroes have made a sacrifice. They have sacrificed time with their families. They've sacrificed a comfortable life. They have sacrificed their old way of life - for no one can go to war and return the same person. Many have sacrificed their very lives, and many more will.
But the battle doesn't end there. As it says in the poem above, they have thrown the torch to us. Our heroes have done their part. They've fought the enemy, and have died fighting. Now it's time for us to do our part. While we may not go overseas to defend our freedom, it is our responsibility to defend it right here at home.
That is one reason why I am so passionate about politics. Throughout all of our history, millions of people have died to preserve the freedom I enjoy! And there are thousands more defending it right now. Even if all I do is help organize TEA Parties and exercise my freedom to speak, I'll be helping to bear the torch that our fallen soldiers have carried so far.
What a shame it would be for all the millions of lives that have been lost in the cause of freedom to go to waste, because we, here at home, refuse to catch the torch. How awful it would be for us to lose our freedom from the inside, while our troops die for freedom all over the world.
I can't imagine what it means to fight in a war. I can't comprehend what it would be like to die for freedom. But I can understand what it means to be grateful, to remember, and to carry the torch. And I will.

And I'm proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
Next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.


Anonymous said...

In the years to come perhaps you should just dress in red every memorial day. To remind yourself of all the innocent blood of millions of women, children and the elderly who have perished, who have paid with their lives for these imperialist wars of conquest. Families who will never again be able to get together and eat and laugh. Wars dressed up in the false clothes of "spreading freedom", "making the world safe for democracy" or "fighting terrorism". Freedom is a grand word, but under the banner of freedom for industry, the most predatory wars have been waged. Washington has always cloaked its predatory ambitions in the language of the American Revolution - freedom, liberty, democracy, and freedom of trade. The US has always been the "reluctant empire", invading other countries for their own good, and always with kind and benevolent intentions. And they've always tried, and sadly, succeeded in getting most of us to buy it, hook line and sinker.

Soliders do indeed sacrifice their lives for freedom, but not for their "freedom" or the freedom of people like them, but for the freedom of business and industry, corporations to barge into other countries, taking over their lands and natural resources like oil. The freedom for these businesses to make profit. And the heads of these businesses, they themselves never sacrifice a thing. They will never see a battlefield first hand. None of their children will ever be sent to fight and die so they can make money. They, as they always have, will make others, us, those poorer than them, do all the fighting, killing and dying for them. And they don't care how many lives it takes, how much suffering millions of people will have to endure. As long as they can conquer and make money thats all that matters. Millions dying for the greed of a few. Soliders fight and die, not for "the people" or the constitution but for the wealthy rulers who could not care less about their lives or their loss.

Tyranny reigns in the rest of the world largely because the US government has created it with its predatory foreign policies of war and conquest. They rob sovereign nations of their self-determination and their liberty and freedom. Then have the gumption to turn around and hypocritically talk about and claim the moral high ground on freedom and tyranny. Terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Iraq and Palestine are created by the actions of the US government. If the US weren't invading and intefering with these countries internal affairs, these groups would never be created.

Are we, the majority of society, the working people of the USA, gaining anything out of the occupations of Afghanistand and Iraq? No, we are only losing. Soldiers losing limbs and or their lives. Who is gaining? Halliburton and the rest of the oil companies and military contractors stationed in these countries.

You should stop and ponder over the real reasons for these wars. Stop living in oblivion and stop accepting the propaganda and lies for these wars that the government spews out. All the official excuses to sell these wars, lies intended for pubic consumption. These wars and all this death will continue until we the people, who do all the fighting and dying and gain nothing, until we stand up and say no more. Its long past time to really support the troops and stop all these wars and bring them home. Thats real support for soliders, bringing them home to be with their loved ones out of harms way. Its long past time to fight the real enemy, the real terrorists, the ruling class and their representatives the Democrats and Republicans who are right here at home who start and support these wars.

Anonymous said...

My! All I can say about Anonymous above is how sad! It seems you are the one listening to some sort of propaganda. One filled with hate, bitterness and hopelessness.
I, for one, agree with your blog post, Liberty.
Tyranny, wars, slavery, human atrocities, hatred, etc. have been apart of the human race since the beginning of time. Islam was around long before America ever became a nation. Maybe Anonymous should read the Koran. And if you want to talk about a nations's sovereignty, what about the nation of Israel? Look at what the other countries in the Middle East are doing to her.
There is no perfect society anywhere on this side of Eternity. Yes, I know there are very crooked politicians and people in the world that would take advantage of people and nations for their own gain.
You can not tell me that Hitler did the things he did or was the way he was because of the USA.
I know people, like both of my Grandfathers, served in WW2 because they did want to help preserve freedom in the World. I have many uncles, etc. that bravely served and they were not heartless murderers killing innocent women and children. My daughter and son-in-law and my father and my husband's father also served in the military and not for the advancement of Haliburton or other big business.
War is a part of life. An ugly part, yes, but a necessary part when you have people that are determined to control others.
I have read articles that Liberty wrote after interviewing several
WW2 veterans. One of the veterans was part of the Bataan Death March in the Phillipines. I can assure you that the USA did nothing to cause the Filipinos to dish out that type of torture.
And the majority of these men that have served in the past and now in the present will tell you that when Victory is obtained that the citizens flock around them, thanking them for coming.
You should interview some people from Auschwitz and ask them if they were thankful for the Americans.
You should read your history, starting way before America was ever created and then come back and say these things in the world are her fault.
No one likes or wants war.
But the reality is there will always be wars.

Kari said...

From Kari

I meant to leave my name in my comment above.

Kari said...

The Japanese led the march not the Filipinos. I just realized I said that.

Anonymous said...

Christianity was also around long before America became a nation. Ever heard of the crusades? Or the inquisition?

Yes look at Israel and what shes doing to the Palestinians. Killing them and driving them off their land and into walled-in, segregated ghettoed slums. Then blockading the people in Gaza and preventing food and medicine from reaching people there. Israel is a client state of the US. The US only supports them, providing them with billions of dollars worth of weapons and money because Israel helps the US maintain imperialist dominance in the Middle East.

Hitler and the Nazis came to power because of the conditions that were imposed by the Allied victors of WW1. They imposed horrible repatriations on Germany after WW1 which created horrible economic conditions. The Nazis were able to use this as a spring board to power.

Soliders are used as cannon fodder to fight wars of conquest. They are told they are fighting for freedom. Thats to get them to fight and to convince the rest of us to support these wars.

You think the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are necessary? For what? "Fighting terrorism" and not fighting to conquer and take over other countries for their land and resources? You don't think they US is using its military might to control other nations?

The 2 world wars weren't caused specifically by the US. They were caused by capitalism. Which drove and still drives countries to compete and go to war with each other over markets and territory.

When a country is "liberated" they are merely getting rid of one oppressor in exchange for another. Some may be better, some worse. Its still occupation and conquest. Anyway you slice it.

Instead of reading the history books written by the propaganda machine of the US government, revisionist history, consider reading other books on American history. One I would suggest is "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. Who was himself a bomber pilot in WW2 and knew first hand about war.

No there won't always be wars. Get rid of capitalism, of class society and you get rid of the root cause for wars between nations.

Kari said...

Dear Anonymous,
It is obvious that neither one of us will change the other's mind. I disagree with you on most everything you say.
One thing I do agree with you on is
reading the correct historical accounts. We have made it a family project to collect as many historical personal accounts as we can afford. My husband is a huge history buff and teaches history to Jr. High and High School students in our homeschool group. We do not use Government books. I can assure of that. We like reading the writings of those that lived in the time periood to get accounts of what was going on by the people living it at the time. And as I said Liberty has interviewed several WW2 veterans herself. My Grandfather was also a WW2 bomber pilot and served in the Korean War and Viet Nam as well.
I prefer not to argue. I am just glad that you and I each have the freedom to express our opinions publicly and without fear of reprisal.