Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Veterans Day...

...has become, for me, as for my Canadian friends, a Day of Remembrance. I think on my kith and kin that fought, and sometimes died, in every war since 1776. Well, I take that back I – didn’t have anyone at the Alamo, or with Black Jack Pershing on the Mexican border. Contemplating why we are free is not always pleasant. The resulting freedom is pleasant.

I re-acquaint myself with companions of my youth that died in Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos. And some of my companions on those battlefields that did not come home, or with whom I have lost contact over the years. My celebration is deeply personal, but no longer troubling.

Other people celebrate in different ways. The Less Than Honorable Democratic Senator from West Virginia, celebrated by announcing his commiseration in sharing intelligence with the enemy concerning the possibility of invasion of Iraq. Gee whiz Billy, could that have something to do the disappearance of WMDs. Golly, what might Syria and various elements in other Middle Eastern countries have done with advance information? Does the term “quisling” come to mind?

Oh yes… and the Honorable Mouth from Massachusetts got the headlines he adores. The Al Jazeera headline on the 17th of November was Fat Teddy saying “Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam”. That is so special coming from a person of his moral caliber. He has to do something. Hey… he’s a bad driver and he’s large boar. But that doesn’t make our guys and gals with boots on the ground in harm’s way feel any better. I know that pictures of Hanoi Jane did not improve my morale.

And, I especially love the Demorat’s contribution to our nation’s Veterans’ Day celebration. A bill (thankfully defeated) which would have put our problems in Iraq on a timetable for withdrawal was their contribution. You know the routine. Declare that we lose and bring the troops home with defeat and dishonor. Hey, it worked in the Nam, in spite of the fact that we were winning. If you don’t believe we were winning, look at several interviews and writings by General Giap after the war. Special thanx go the spineless Weepublicans who (to preserve a position with one foot firmly planted on each side of the political aisle) presented and passed (to the glee of the Demorats) a bill only slightly less heinous.

Oh yes, I especially liked the Washington Compost’s contributions to the festivities. There’s nothing quite so special as the publishing of information about clandestine operations in a time of war. That is just so special! And the use of torture, oh my… that’s just not nice. Excuse me. We are dealing with people who are will to behead 3 young girls in Indonesia who made the mistake of walking to school. Oh, did anybody mention it was Christian School. If the bomb is ticking and it will protect my grand children, pull out their toenails!

However, let’s look at the positive side of Veterans day…

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government: Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by Federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as thorough and complete as they should be.
These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a ten-fold beacon in the night: Duty, honor, country.
You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.
The long, gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, honor, country.

Douglas MacArthur – 1962

And from an earlier time…

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in the crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the conflict.

Thomas Payne 1776

To all who dropped by around Veterans Day with good words, thank you. To quote an old Beatles song…

I get by with a little help from my friends!

God bless the U.S.A.

Peace and all good,



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