What did they die for?
It’s something folks wonder about this time of year, the arrival of another Memorial Day holiday reminding each of us that the time we get off from work or school should mean more than a routine trip to the beach or a backyard barbecue with loved ones and friends. And that corporate box store sale? They’re just hoping to stimulate extra foot traffic with American flags and patriotic advertising.
For true believers in American exceptionalism, it’s hard not to think back to the millions of U.S. servicemen and women lying beneath the soil of cemeteries (national or otherwise) all over the world. Many if not most of the fallen were cut down before they had a chance to reach the prime of their lives, the country needing the youth and vigor of those little older than boys and girls to fight a foe they never dreamed of confronting in their primary years.
The dead lie in those hallowed places, with contemporary Americans occasionally visiting and reflecting on what it meant for those below the faceless stones and monuments to give what Abraham Lincoln called “The last full measure of devotion.” The Bible tells us (John 15:13) that “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The honorable soldiers, sailors, Marines and support personnel who gave everything for their country silently express that love with each passing day.
The question in our times is, was it worth the sacrifice? Did we earn it?
One year after the very public and tragic death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, it’s fitting to examine what our country stands for. The events of the past twelve months have been shocking and sorrow-filled in just about every possible way. Many grieve Floyd’s death as a symbol of a broken system, not acknowledging the fact that police-involved homicides (if indeed Floyd’s death actually fits the classification) are incredibly rare. Many, many opportunists saw the public nature of the circumstance as justification to expose their rage -- against what, really?
To a large portion of Americans, last summer’s “social unrest” and “peaceful protests” looked more like grand excuses to wreck things and trash the type of discipline and dedication it takes to work and earn their own way. The scenes of mostly younger people pulling down historic statues was disgusting to say the least. Those pampered miscreants had no respect for anything. Freedom of speech is not the freedom to desecrate and destroy.
At any rate, the cultural and societal deterioration from summer, 2020, still remains. Violence is rampant in the ravaged inner cities. Politically speaking, the majority Democrats could suffer next year because of it. W. James Antle III wrote at The Washington Examiner:
“Homicides in cities increased by up to 40% over the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 1960, a trend that has not abated so far in 2021. Sixty-three of the 66 largest police jurisdictions saw a rise in at least one category of violent crime, ranging from homicide and rape to robbery and assault, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association. Homicides and shootings have gone up for three straight years in Washington, D.C., and at least a dozen mass shootings were reported nationwide over the weekend...
“Former President Donald Trump ran hard against violence in major cities last year and frequently invoked the phrase ‘law and order.’ Despite his loss to President Joe Biden and the preference of some Republican operatives for an emphasis on public safety rather than well-worn anti-crime catchphrases Trump tended to use, his hard-line stance still drew votes...
“A rise in violent crime during the 1960s, and growing public sentiment that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party was too soft in confronting it, helped fuel Republican victories in the 1970s and 1980s. This culminated in the 1988 presidential election, in which Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis saw a 17-point national lead evaporate due in part to the ‘Willie Horton’ ad about Massachusetts’s furlough program for convicted violent criminals. Dukakis ended up losing 40 states.”
It’s all true, though Dukakis was about as appealing and likeable as a Scottish Haggis (Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal's stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead. Yum!) The former Massachusetts governor wasn’t adept at messaging, either, which resulted in his steep drop in political favor.
The recent meteoric rise in violent crime rates corresponds to the American left’s -- and their political wing, the Democrat Party’s -- demagoguing of the law enforcement issue in order to benefit politically. For a faction so consumed with “science” and “data”, you’d think someone, such as Joe Biden, would stand up and concede, “Hey, police incidents don’t happen all that often. But when you’ve got mobs of losers tossing bricks through store windows and looting the contents -- well, that’s bad.”
Everyone knows Democrats basically preach the opposite. Vice president Kamala Harris even contributed to a fund dedicated to bailing out “protesters” who were nabbed by police last summer. If it’s true that people put their money where their heart is, this action spoke volumes. If Kamala weren’t such a hypocrite, she’d be out there ransacking a business like her voters were doing instead of simply cutting a check to spring them. What a failure.
One can’t help but sense the men and women lying lifeless in those cemeteries I alluded to earlier didn’t surrender their lives so future generations of morons could trample on the American ideal. The fact is, the way leftists behave -- and the way Democrats continually make exceptions for them -- is a direct insult to those we honor at Memorial Day. Heroes who fell on grenades or attacked a fortified position to save their comrades deserve better. A lot better.
And it’s not as though Democrats refrain from sanctioning the lawbreakers because they’re in unison with what the thugs allegedly believe. They just want the thugs’ votes. If a Democrat politician has any hope of prevailing, he or she must give lip service to the dolts holding “Black Lives Matter” signs and shouting down the random onlooker who utters “All Lives Matter”.
I’ve said it before -- if liberal politicians cared one iota about black lives, American Indian lives, rural white folks’ lives, Hispanic lives, Pacific Islander lives… or any other ethnicity under the sun’s lives, they’d speak out against legalized and publicly subsidized abortion. Again, facts don’t lie -- every Democrat who votes to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood kills more unarmed minorities every single day than an entire nation’s worth of police forces does in a decade. It’s true -- look it up.
Would the fighting men of the historic 54th Massachusetts infantry have approved of abortion? The unit was one of the first all-black regiments in the Civil War, as immortalized by the 1989 movie Glory. Who should today’s black youth emulate, the hundreds of thousands of African-American men and women who’ve sacrificed and fought for the American flag or Lebron James and the “woke” ball dribbling and throwing intellectual lightweights in the NBA and NFL?
Again, what did they die for?
Did a white teen from a working class family in rural community x in red state y volunteer to serve and then be killed by an enemy, do so under the auspices of white privilege and to give his life so his brother’s and sister’s descendants could learn Critical Race Theory and be demonized by academians bent on racializing everything? Similarly, did soldiers and sailors in the Revolutionary War serve so their progeny could be conversant in the 1619 Project’s propaganda?
Historians recognize that a number of Union Army regiments were composed primarily of immigrants from Ireland, men who made the transatlantic voyage to give themselves a chance at a better life instead of suffering through famines and harsh landlords in their homeland. Did they perish on Civil War battlefields so future generations could pull down monuments and other war memorials as symbols of hate and racism?
The beginning of the film “Saving Private Ryan” features a gripping depiction of a WWII survivor visiting a cemetery in France to seek out the grave of the man charged with pulling him out of danger all those years ago. The latter was killed in action (“Earn this. Earn it.”), and in the final scene in the movie, the man returns to the grave to reflect on whether he lived the life he was charged with -- to make the mentor’s sacrifice worth it, to “Earn it”.
If we’re talking about still burned-out inner cities, violent crime out of control and “BLM” and “ACAB” spray painted on private property -- and Democrat politicians using race and division to win political office -- the answer is an emphatic “No.”
Let’s think back on the heroes this Memorial Day. And work to “earn it” every day.
Saving Private Ryan
54th Massachusetts Infantry
Critical Race Theory
Anniversary George Floyd death