The late General Norman (“Stormin’ Norman”) Schwarzkopf, Commander of forces in the Persian Gulf War (“Desert Storm”), succinctly stated an enduring truth: “Some things are worth living for. Some things are worth dying for. One of those things is freedom.”
Another enduring truth is that each of us Americans owes a debt to all of the more than 1.3-million American veterans who came before us and sacrificed their lives for our freedom. We pay that debt by what we do to preserve American freedom for all those who will come after us.
Memorial Day is a day to remember what should be remembered every day–the service and sacrifice of American veterans who gave their lives in war so that we, their posterity, might live as free Americans. (See below the appended chart of casualties in all the wars.)
On Memorial Day 2017, as on every Memorial Day, all across America, veterans of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Veterans (AmVets), veterans of other organizations and individual veterans who know what it means to serve, gathered at their Posts, meeting halls, National or State Veterans Cemeteries, or at community events, to honor and remember all those veterans who paid for our freedom with their lives.
But, unfortunately, many citizens, and others residing in America, including our young in government schools — and including immigrants, legal and illegal — have neither knowledge of the real meaning of Memorial Day, nor respect for the veterans who are to be honored, remembered, and thanked for their service and the sacrifice of their lives for American freedom by a grateful nation.
That historical and cultural ignorance is understandable, since government public schools no longer teach the young such things about their heritage as Americans regarding the meaning of Memorial Day; the nobility of military service; patriotism and love of our country; or America as an “exceptional nation” — the first government in world history to be created “by, for, and of” the people instead of being imposed on the people; a nation which has defended freedom from tyranny and terrorism throughout the world, including against tyrannical national socialist fascism, international communism, and radical Islamist terrorism, each aimed at compelling submission to its totalitarian ideology.
Patriotism generally, and selfless service for God and country by military service as noble, has been replaced by a progressive liberal political, media, and educational elite substituting political correctness, multiculturalism, and cultural relevance in which “American exceptionalism” is derided, and condemned.
Indeed, even a sitting President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief in a time of war, Barack Hussain Obama, self-described progressive liberal, famously instructed and insisted to Americans, including the young and those serving in the military during the continuing war against terrorism, that America is objectively no more an “exceptional nation” than any other country which subjectively thinks it is “exceptional.”
THREE QUESTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY 2017
In such a political and cultural atmosphere, after transformation of America and Americans by progressive liberal politically correct rule for eight years, at least three questions are raised on Memorial Day 2017:
First, should remembrance of the sacrifice of their lives by veterans who have paid the price of American freedom be limited to one Memorial Day a year?”
Second, are Americans today—not just those in the all-volunteer modern military — willing to give their lives for freedom in battle if necessary, as have prior generations?
Third, have Americans been so transformed by eight years of progressive liberal politically correct rule that they timidly fear to even demand that Congress pass the Flag Amendment, H.J. Res. 61, to protect from desecration the Flag under which 1.3-million veterans gave their lives in defense of Freedom?
I. THE “21 SECOND REMEMBRANCE RESOLUTION”
Regarding remembrance of veterans who gave their lives for American freedom, there is a growing effort to have the “21 Second Remembrance Resolution” adopted throughout the nation to remember and honor veterans on more than Memorial Day.
The 21 Second Remembrance Resolution calls on governmental units from villages, towns, cities, counties, States and the Federal (not “National”) Government in Washington, D.C. — as well as non-governmental businesses, organizations, and individuals — to pause for 21 seconds of silence, at noon, on the 21st Day of each month, to remember and honor those veterans who have given their lives for freedom.
Ray Trosper of Norco, California, a former U.S. Marine, an American Legionnaire, and a Patriot Guard rider, is the founder of the “21 Second Remembrance Resolution.”
“Those American veterans who died in service gave their lives for us. We should never forget their sacrifice. We should remember, and honor, them for their sacrifice on more than one day of the year, to preserve awareness of the true cost of our freedom, and to show respect for those who paid that price,” says Trosper.
Trosper is not one of the effete elite. He grew up in a patriotic Wisconsin farm family; joined the Marines after high school; and, after his military service, came to California and worked his way up in the mobile home industry to become a successful small business owner operating a wholesale mobil home supply business, SDCK Corp., in Ontario, CA. In short, he is living by what were once “traditional American values” including self-reliance, hard work to get ahead, faith, family, fidelity, and patriotism.
Trosper says of his 21 Second Remembrance Resolution: “We have a tradition of the 21-gun salute. We have the tradition of the Honor Guard taking precisely 21 steps at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. We should be willing to remember those who gave their lives for us by at least pausing in our own lives for 21-second moments of silence, one time a month, at noon, on the 21st day of every month.”
Trosper’s “21 Second Remembrance Resolution” was adopted as a statute by the California legislature in 2014. It urges all California governmental units, employees, and private businesses and citizens, to observe 21-seconds of silence at noon on the 21st day of the month. It was also adopted, first, by Trosper’s American Legion Riverside Post 79, then, sponsored by Post 79 and District 21, by the American Legion Department of California, forth largest Department in the 2.4-member American Legion.
“Honoring and remembering those who gave their lives for us costs us nothing, neither for government or private businesses and organizations,” Trosper notes. “Although the cost to the veterans who preserved our freedom was their lives, it costs us nothing to pause for 21 seconds once a month, at noon, on the 21st day, to remember and honor them and their lives.”
Trosper embodies the concept of “once a Marine, always a Marine,” and in that spirit is working for adoption of the 21 Second Resolution nationwide. (For more information and how to join the effort: www.21SecondsNow.com.)
II. WILL AMERICANS STILL DIE FOR FREEDOM?
As to the second question, are we, as individual Americans, still willing to sacrifice our lives in defense of freedom?
Those serving in our military as volunteers definitely are. Most veterans will tell you they still are. But are all Americans prepared to make that sacrifice? Each American must answer that question in his or her own heart. But in this age of radical Islamic terrorism, with atrocity upon atrocity being committed at home and abroad, and America “transformed” after eight years of progressive liberal rule with political correctness overruling patriotism, it is a question which may have to be answered as an existential reality by everyone sooner than anyone would have thought. Progressive liberal politically correct appeasement of Islamist terrorism is an utter failure. Islamist terrorism is here and growing, from Boston to San Bernardino, and all points between. We will have to choose.
III. THE FLAG AMENDMENT, H.J. RES 61
As to the third question, protecting the Flag: I have to emphasize here that each of more than 1.3-million American veterans who gave their lives in defense of American of freedom did so serving under the American Flag, which is the symbol of the American Constitution and Nation.
That Flag, in the last eight years during the progressive liberal politically correct rule of Barak Obama, has been subjected to increasing desecration by burning, even by defecating on the Flag, by those openly identifying themselves as enemies of America, domestic and foreign.
The shield for such desecration is the decision of five of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court who decided for the first time in American history in 1989 in the case of Texas vs. Johnson, 5-4 —that is, by a majority of one lawyer-judge —that the desecration of the Flag by physical act, which would include burning, defecation, or other physical act, is “speech” intended to be protected by the First Amendment by the Founding Fathers.
Does non-lawyer actually believe that Gen. George Washington —Father of the Country, Thomas Jefferson—Father of the Declaration of Independence, or James Madison — Father of the Constitution, or other Founding Fathers, actually intended the First Amendment they created to protect defecation as “speech”? Please excuse me for believing that anyone, including lawyers on the Supreme Court, who thinks that defecating is “speech,” is talking out of the wrong orifice himself or herself.
Notwithstanding, the only way to overcome the decision of the five lawyers on the Supreme Court in Texas vs. Johnson and protect the Flag is for “We, the People” to exercise the right to make such decisions by demanding that Congress pass the Flag Amendment, H.J. Res. 61, and send it to the States for ratification by vote of the people.
The Flag Amendment, H.J. Res. 61, would amend the Constitution itself to provide: “Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Thus, the Supreme Court could not declare it “unconstitutional” for Congress to protect the Flag from physical desecration by legislation.
American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt, and Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady (USA, ret.), Medal of Honor (Vietnam), considered America’s most decorated living veteran and the chairman emeritus of the American Legion’s Citizens Flag Alliance, have each called for all veterans and patriots to revitalize the effort to pass the Flag Amendment, H.J. Res 61, in the new 115th Congress under a new President who has expressed his respect and love for the Flag, President Donald J. Trump.
“When you burn the Flag, you burn the Constitution,” says Maj. Gen. Brady. “If ever there was a time in which to pass the Flag Amendment, this is that time.”
Thus, on Memorial Day 2017, we Americans, who may be called upon to sacrifice our lives for American freedom as did our ancestors, should have at least respect enough for those who have given their lives for our freedom to adopt the 21 Second Remembrance Resolution (www.21SecondsNow.com).
We should have also at least the respect and courage to demand that Congress pass the Flag Amendment, H.J.Res. 61, in order to protect from physical desecration the Flag under which 1.3-million American veterans have given their lives in defense of Freedom. (For more information on the Flag Amendment, see, www.CitizensFlagAlliance.com, and, www.patriotoutreach.org/Honor_Our_Flag.html
Finally, I close this Memorial Day 2017 commentary by appending data on those who have given their lives for our freedom; followed by the greatest war poem ever written, Flanders Fields. Although written in 1915 during the Battle of Ypres in WWI, it is as relevant, compelling, and moving today as it was then. This is most especially true of the final lines, which call on us to take up the “torch” of freedom from the falling hands of those dying, and warns: “If ye break faith with us who die/We shall not sleep, though poppies grow/In Flanders fields.”
We must not, we shall not, “break faith” with those 1.3-million American veterans who have died. For us. May God bless and keep each and all of them; may we Americans never forget, and always honor them. May we have the courage, the integrity, the love of God, family, comrades, and country, to make the choice they did when called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO TYRANNY—NEVER!
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE — REMEMBER THE AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WAR THAT WE MIGHT BE FREE:
American Wars: Killed In Action
Revolutionary War………………………. 25,324
War of 1812………………………………… 2,260
Mexican War……………………………….. 13,283
Civil War……………………………………… 650,000
Spanish American War…………………. 7,166
World War I………………………………… 116,708
World War II…………………………………408,206
Korean War………………………………….. 54,246
Vietnam War………………………………… 58,223
Persian Gulf War………………………….. 363
TOTAL KIA: 1,342,206
TOTAL MISSING IN ACTION: 83,126
In Flanders Fields
by [Canadian] Major John McCrae, May 1915
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.
© 2017 Rees Lloyd – All Rights Reserved