As I type this message later than normal (was away for the weekend on a camping/fishing trip), my heart is torn. Well, it’s always torn on this day of remembrance, and I dare say, reverence for those who have taken up our nation’s colors and fallen in battle.
War is an unfortunate human reality, one that never seems to abate no matter the passage of centuries or the “advances” of civilized society. My personal (and theological) view as to this unholy necessity is a belief that amongst the good people of the world there are interspersed enough bad ones that periodic war is an essential cleansing and purgative. When evil people come to power, they must be resisted and removed, usually by force.
The same is true for evil systems of control that suppress the human spirit and ravage the body. Cruelty bows to only one master – greater force. It is extremely difficult to negotiate from a position of weakness. This is why Americans have willingly gone in harm’s way for centuries, from the first patriots who laid everything on the line for freedom from tyranny and the right to self-governance, to those pounding desert sands today in search of terrorists who slay innocent bystanders to make “statements”. The only “statement”. they are really making is how easy they find it to bully women, children and other defenseless non-combatants. And so they must be stopped, before they bring their pointless slaughter to our shores.
The reason my heart is torn this year isn’t the sad-sweet remembrance of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I live that emotion daily, because the freedom they died to secure blesses me as I awake each morning. This Memorial Day my heart is breaking for those who have died since returning home, because they were denied or delayed essential health services once safely back in the States. They too are casualties of war, after surviving their overseas deployment and returning home only to perish on a waiting list for life-saving measures. They have been felled not by enemy bullets, but rather by an evil bureaucracy (inept doesn’t apply here) staffed by the very citizens they defended.
This inexcusable and heinous situation causes us to question what they even fought for. Is this the best we have to offer our bravest citizens? Is patriotism something to be mocked by civilian, rear-echelon administrators playing politics with other peoples’ lives?
Here’s the final question: when no warrior considers it worthwhile to defend what little is left of this corrupted nation’s decency with their own lives, who will then fight? Politicians? Government administrators? Lackeys and “yes men”?
We owe a collective debt we can never repay. All we can do is honor and uphold what the debt-holders died for, and take care of those who returned alive. It’s a small enough price to pay for such an enormous sacrifice.
Image: Courtesy of: http://myedmondsnews.com/2012/05/reminder-memorial-day-observance-monday-at-edmonds-cemetery/