On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month…
This Day is set aside now, in honor of American Patriot Veterans, who have carried the banner of Liberty forward since the first shots at Lexington and Concord! And it is now time for us to deliver this banner to the next generation.
Millions of Patriots – American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen – have for generations honored their oath to “support and defend” Liberty, as “endowed by our Creator” and enshrined in our Constitution.
Today, and every day, we formally honor them. We remain the proud and the free because they have stood bravely in harm’s way, and millions remain on post today. For this, we, the American People, offer our heartfelt thanks.
“Mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions.” (1 Chronicles 12:8)
“Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” –Gen. Douglas MacArthur
“War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John Stuart Mill
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-14)
(See Mark Alexander’s essay, The Most Noble of American Patriots.)
So why is it an afterthought for the commander-in-chief?
Following the Democrats’ debacle in last week’s midterm elections, President Obama was his usual self at a press conference refusing to accept any responsibility for this electoral disaster despite having said his policies were on the ballot much less give any indication he intends to redeem his conduct in his last two years in office.
Perhaps Obama’s most telling statement was when, in response to a question from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, he recalled pep talks he gave to White House staff before and after the midterms:
I told them this last week, and I told them that this morning. We have this incredible privilege of being in charge of the most important organization on earth–the U.S. government, and our military, and everything that we do for good around the world.
The President throws in the military as if were an afterthought and he has treated it as such. While the rest of the federal government is expanding faster than Obama’s ego, our military is at the smallest level since before America’s entry into WWII. Our Navy is also the smallest it’s been since WWI, but when Mitt Romney pointed this out during his final debate with Obama in the 2012 race, the President quipped, “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” Well, Mr. President, you were right about the horses, but we actually have three times as many bayonets as we did during WWI. But since when has Obama let facts get in the way of an argument? As NRO’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote at the time:
Obama was half right on the detail, and wholly wrong on the implication: Even if you generously presume that Obama meant “muskets and horses” instead, the notion that the additional ships to which Romney referred were as anachronistic and useless to modern warfare as those items is flat-out absurd. There has been an unbroken line of Anglo-American naval supremacy for over two centuries, and you can’t maintain naval supremacy without ships.
During my socialist days in Canada, every so often I would see a poster, a button, or a bumper sticker with this quote: “It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake sale to buy a bomber.” Well, not only is this state of affairs coming to pass, but the Department of Education may well be better armed than the Department of Defense. Why does the Department of Education have a SWAT Team? Better yet why do we have a Department of Education?
President Obama may fervently believe that the U.S. government is the most important organization on Earth. But let’s be honest. If we were to do away with most federal government departments and agencies, not only would this country continue to function, but there’s a very good chance we would function far better than we do now. However, if we did away with our military, this country would not survive for very long.
As with any human endeavor, our military makes mistakes and isn’t above constructive criticism. Like any other federal government entity, it wastes money and engages in silly, politically correct activities like compelling combat veterans to “wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training.”
But this wasn’t nearly as egregious as the statements of then U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey in the days following the Fort Hood shootings five years ago. When it became clear the shootings were motivated by Islamic fanaticism, General Casey said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, “I’m concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that.” Then on NBC’s Meet the Press he said, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
Well, Casey, his successors General Martin Dempsey and General Ray Odierno, and the Pentagon, with the blessing of the White House, giving priority to diversity and political correctness, concluded the Fort Hood shootings were an act of workplace violence, not terrorism. The consequence of this is that the 12 soldiers who were killed cannot receive Purple Hearts nor can their families receive compensation. The Generals and President Obama, who pays such lip service to the well-being of military families, sacrificed these 12 military families on the altar of diversity. For shame.
The most important organization in the world is only as good as the men and women who comprise it. Despite its shortcomings, the character of the overwhelmingly majority of men and women who volunteer to risk their lives for this country in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and the Coast Guard are the reason the U.S. military is the most important organization on Earth. Should you come across a member of the U.S. military, past or present, on this Veterans’ Day or any other day of the year, please say thank you.