This is their day to be honored
· · May 31, 2021 ·

I understand the impulse to mock the current state of leadership in the United States military.

Start with our current commander-in-chief, who was outed by Barack Obama's Defense Secretary for being wrong on almost every major foreign policy question he's faced.

That isn't hyperbole, by the way. Even The Atlantic noted Biden's notoriously bad track record:

Biden "voted against the 1991 Gulf War, in which the United States and a broad multinational coalition quickly achieved their goals, and in favor of the 2003 Iraq War, and regretted both votes. Years into hostilities, he opposed the troop surges that brought some stability to both Iraq and Afghanistan and even insisted that ‘the Taliban per se is not our enemy.' He argued for carving Iraq into sectarian statelets even as Iraqis voted for cross-sectarian political lists. And he opposed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden."

Then there's current Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose contributions to the development of America's military include major announcements like the official recognition of "International Transgender Day of Visibility" to honor all gender non-conforming persons.

And who can forget the recent Army recruitment video that humiliated the country by making it clear that the mightiest military in history has transitioned from Uncle Sam flyers to video vignettes you'd expect to see at a lesbian film festival?

Not that any of this is new – it happens whenever progressives seize control over the levers of government. The left's preoccupation with making a laughingstock out of our national defense forces is as contemptible as it is embarrassing. Remember, it was the man who thrust Joe Biden into the national consciousness – former Chief Executive Barack Obama – who made it a point on his first European trip as president to apologize for America's belligerence and arrogance.

Twelve years later and those words still echo in the ears of veterans of foreign wars, Gold Star families, and every American who noticed Obama spoke those words just a few hundred miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with the 77-year-old blood of those "arrogant Americans."

At the time, columnist Mark Whittington properly observed that far from arrogance, countless Americans saved "Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th century." The world wars, the specter of communist aggression, the conflicts in the Balkans, "were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership."

On Memorial Day, as I think about family members of mine who never made it back from conflicts overseas, or as I remember my late Grandpa tear up every time he spoke of his 200 shipmates aboard the USS Hoel that went into the water after being torpedoed, I feel a renewed interest in refusing to allow those with such a self-serving lack of gratitude for America's fallen warriors to rewrite history.

  • When tyrannical monarchs subjugated the masses, Americans gave their lives to overthrow them.
  • When the scourge of slavery led to a persistent, unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans gave their lives to put an end to it.
  • When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans gave their lives to stand against them.
  • When communist madmen began a demented pursuit of world domination, Americans gave their lives to topple them.
  • When terrorist thugs killed the innocent and abused millions, Americans gave their lives to eradicate them.

That is the legacy that generations of Americans who offered up what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion" have left for us. This is their day to be remembered. This is their day to be honored. This is their day to challenge each of us to earn what they have given.

In an era where duty, honor, and valor seem to be discarded relics of the past – especially among those in positions of authority and influence – these fallen heroes have shown us the way.

It remains for us to follow.


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