Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Thought for Veterans' Day 2015

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.  It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.”  Ronald Reagan

No truer words have been spoken.  There is no more formidable weapon as one who has something worth defending, something worth sacrificing for, something worth dying for if necessary.  So we commemorate this day (I hesitate to use the word “celebrate”) whose origins come from the declared Armistice Day when WWI officially came to an end at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

We as Americans do not glamorize war, and those who have taken up arms in defense of this nation will hardly romanticize war.  Yet we recognize the reality of evil and tyranny in the world from which no one is safe except by the hands of those who refuse to stand down or appease an adversary who will not be appeased.  So even though armed conflict is often referred to as a sometimes “necessary evil”, we cannot ignore the reality that sometimes force can only be answered with force when other options have been exhausted. 

President Lincoln stated in his second inaugural address that “All dreaded [the Civil War], all sought to avert it.  While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war.” 

We know all too well the harsh reality of war and those who are determined to make war, and we also know politicians have sometimes been too eager to devote American forces to a cause that was not altogether understood or embraced by the American public.  Yet in the face of doubt, uncertainty, and even protest, this nation’s “free men and women” answered the call and have answered that call without regard to the politics, believing first in the ideals of liberty we hold so dear and the principle of service to something greater than self.

So let us remember our veterans who have served and are currently serving at home and abroad.  They served, and continue to serve, freely and selflessly for ideals and principles we have all too often learned to take for granted.  Their service to this nation is a reminder that there is always something worth defending, worth sacrificing for, and worth laying down one’s life for; because America is not a place on a map.  It is a state of mind and heart and being. 

This is the United States veteran.  We worship the God who gifted these men and women with the heart of a lion and a vision beyond their own lives.

Semper Fidelis,

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