Awakening on Memorial Day

America does remember her fallen - and what they fell for.

It's Memorial Day, the time for children to celebrate the opening day of their local pool and for conservative opinion writers to grouse that nobody cares about the true meaning of Memorial Day anymore - namely, the price that so many Americans have paid for freedom across the centuries.

Are these complaints truly justified?  We can't help but notice that, for nearly all leftist writers - which is to say, just about all the ones you'll ever actually see in a major media source - our holidays honoring our heroes are just about the only time you won't find them declaiming that a racist, sexist, bigoted, violent, unequal, genocidal, fill-in-the-blank-ist America is utterly unworthy of celebration.

This should tell us something: that even after a half-century of tearing down the story of the nation which has been the greatest force for good in all of history, the enemies of the American Way still don't dare spit in our eyes when we're paying attention.  They can get away with it when our minds are occupied with living life, but not when we're remembering what we know to be true: that our forefathers sacrificed greatly, for something well worth their sacrifice.

Indeed, in some ways the Left has had to move backwards.  In the Vietnam War era, it wasn't unheard-of for leftist protesters to personally attack and spit on our service members in uniform as they returned from fighting overseas.  Sen. John Kerry, first choice of rich widows for decades, slandered his fellow veterans in nationwide testimony and yet was still elected to the Senate.

Would that happen today?  Even the furthest-left representatives from the furthest-left districts that don't even want to be part of this country anymore mouth platitudes of care and concern for our soldiers.  They don't hesitate to attack their leaders - which is a perfectly American thing to do, anyway - but not those who voluntarily place themselves in harm's way on our behalf.

Similarly, the 70s and 80s saw an endless parade of anti-war films and TV shows tearing down our veterans and the wars in which they served.  We don't see anything like that today: those few film treatments of our modern military almost unanimously treat our soldiers with the respect they deserve, acknowledging them as the heroes they are.  As with our leftist politicians, our leftist media mavens have had to quietly walk back their anti-Americanism in order to retain power.

Are we losing our freedoms?  They are certainly under threat, but then, freedom is always under threat.  True, today's threats are mostly more internal than external, but the existence of the threat remains the same even if the means of defense are different.

And make no mistake: our freedoms are being defended.  Yes, some courts have abandoned the First Amendment freedom of exercise of religion by attempting to force ordinary Americans in ordinary jobs to participate in events they find morally repugnant, as with Christian bakers who refused to write pro-gay messages on cakes for homosexual "weddings."  But the last word on this issue has not been spoken: just last week, a court in California, of all places, ruled that the idea of forcing a private individual to write a message they abhor was contrary to everything that is America.  Defenders of traditional American liberty may take a while to get into action, but the cause is far from lost.

What of our lost youth, indoctrinated by our government schools into unanimous leftism?  Sure, there are many in this sorry state and they tend to be the ones you hear about on the news - but there are many more without the same publicity machines behind them who have thrown the Left's anti-American messages into the trashcan of history where they belong.

Indeed, it seems that America's young people may be waking up to the threats facing them.  This year seems to have brought a sudden awakening to the fact that we're all being spied on top to bottom - by Facebook, by Google, and by our own government - for unclear but deeply disturbing purposes.  As children of the digital and social-media age, it's possible that they'll decide to just to roll over and take it, but less probable by the day as Facebook's plummeting usage numbers show.

President Reagan used to say:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Let's be honest: all too frequently, it's looked like that would be our sad fate, a prospect we've bemoaned many times in the pages of Scragged.  It may still be; much though we might wish to, no man can truly foresee the future.

But on this Memorial Day, we have hope - hope that a new generation of Americans is coming to understand what they may not have been properly taught, but which is readily apparent to anyone with eyes to see if only once it's pointed out to them.

That America is the last, best hope for mankind, and our founding documents - as written by the Founders, not as misinterpreted by the modern Left - are indeed the greatest work of men's minds.

That the American Way is the most powerful, indeed the only effective weapon against poverty, inequality, racism, bigotry, and hatred of all kinds, even if the road forward is not always straight and smoothly-paved.

And that our greatest foe is, indeed, ourselves - our laziness both intellectual and physical, the natural consequences of the vast wealth and blessings that freedom and our forefathers have provided for us.  As Lincoln said:

If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

Yes, there are many Americans who want our nation to die by suicide and they tend to have very loud megaphones.  The past few years, though, have shown that for all their apparent power, they are fundamentally weak because they stand on a foundation of lies.

Memorial Day is about remembering. This Memorial Day, we see signs that more and more Americans are doing exactly that; and when Americans remember who they are and what America is, we are invincible.

Happy Memorial Day!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Politics.
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