Passing the Torch of Freedom

The attendance was light at early church services this morning. Early service is mostly attended by old fogies like me who are accustomed to rising with the sun or mostly before it. It is Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. Many are making their first trip to the beach marking the unofficial start of summer. They will enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and time with family. It is all available to them because they live in a free nation where they can travel about at will. It is a country richly blessed. The national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” declares it is the land of the free.

In back yards, grills are being fired up for the summer’s first barbeque. On Monday, serial shoppers looking for holiday sales will hit the stores. There they will find store shelves and aisle ways filled with merchandise. It is another blessing that comes with living in the world’s freest nation. It is a prosperous and free nation whose people, since the end of the Civil war, have not known the horrors of war on their soil. Have not seen it or felt it face to face.

Sadly, the typical American is far removed from the purpose of Memorial Day. Just for the record, it began in the Civil War era. Many locales claim the honor of being first to celebrate “Decoration Day” as the time set aside to honor war dead. Growing up in Southern West Virginia, I knew it as Decoration Day. I do not remember when I came to know it as Memorial Day. We visited and decorated graves and generally had a rather large family reunion at my Grandpa’s house. For me, it was all potato salad and banana pudding, but the eating never began until thanks were given with a reminder for everyone of the purpose of this time. Those reunions were populated by many World War II and Korean War Veterans. My Father and Uncles were among them.

This weekend, many Americans will visit gravesites. For some, it is a heartfelt visit and for others a mechanical gesture. Some graves will have no visitors. If you have or will visit someone, contemplate what brought you there. Ask, what did that person do for me?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

For this day, ask why young men and women choose to serve voluntarily and stay in our country’s Armed Forces and why generations continue say “Send me!” There are a multitude of reasons that young people enter the service. For me, it was to leave a group of people and break a pointless cycle in my life. When I was 16 years old, I was a high school dropout already working full time in a Chicago factory. By the time I was 18, I was in a cycle of collecting a Friday paycheck and being practically broke when I returned to work on Monday. I was a tad wayward and moving pointlessly forward. I watched 40 year old men doing the same menial labor as me and with little hope of ever doing any better. I did not like the future I saw. Enlisting into the Army in 1971 was not real popular, but I saw it as a way out of that cycle. The reason I entered the service had nothing to do with why I stayed for 28 years. It is the reasons people stay that is important to remember. I stayed because I found purpose. I stayed because I was surrounded by honorable, dependable people who shared my purpose. The purpose of doing whatever was asked of us to preserve the freedom of this great nation. I was fortunate to come home, many never did. This time is for them.

Those who did not come home fulfilled their purpose. They also did something equally as important. They passed the torch of freedom to you and me. It is ours to burn brightly in the face of our nation’s enemies both foreign and domestic. Let us never forget that.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies blow
In Flanders fields. –
In Flanders Fields, LTC John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

May God bless and embrace our Veterans who sacrificed so greatly for our freedom. May God continue to bless and embrace our men and women now serving in our Armed Forces. May God continue to bless this free nation.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton Jr.

© 2014 J. D. Pendry

America is Bigger than You

Experience and lessons have taught me that good leaders inspire. They love the institutions they lead. They are passionate about the people they lead. They unite. They hold the same values as the led. They know it is never about them. It is always about the led. Self is not at their center. It is always about the inspirational vision. Time is never spent focused on the negative. Instead of fixing blame, they fix problems. In response to their leadership, morale is always high. Performance is always above the accepted standard. The led can always look to leadership for a proper example.

The opposite approach to leadership generally ends in spectacular failure and self-destruction.

To lead the United States of America, you must love her and her people. You must know and embrace the laws of the land and have an understanding of her founding and history. Loving America means setting out to strengthen it. Preserve it. Reinforce the foundation. Inspire the people toward greater achievement to the benefit of the world.

If one loved the country and the people and had an intimate understanding and acceptance of the true American culture, he would not set out to fundamentally transform it.

If someone wanted to be an American leader, he would make many patriotic speeches declaring a red, white and blue America. He would profess his knowledge of and defend the constitution. Knowing America, he would publicly declare his Christianity. He would publicly embrace Christian values like marriage being between one man and one woman. He would promise government that is open to the people – the most transparent one ever. He would promise to change the Washington political culture – break the political bickering and gridlock. He would promise to unite. He would promise a post-racial America. He would offer hope and promise change.

He would understand the American media and the liberal mind. He would use both to his advantage. After all, it takes a liberal progressive communist mind to know one. He would begin the quest for the prize as a wholly made up man with a legion of lawyers and millions of dollars used to lock up his past tighter than a gnat’s butt stretched across a base drum. He would proceed with confidence knowing that nary a challenge or question about his history or his competence would arise from either his sycophantic liberal disciples or an incompetent ideologically driven print and broadcast media.

Following his election as the nation’s leader to the planet’s most prized seat of power, he would embark on a world tour. In Europe, Asia, and in the bed of Islam he would bow subserviently to foreign leaders and make speeches apologizing for America’s past. He would never acknowledge it was a past that included freeing much of Asia, Europe, and Islam from murderous tyrannies. He would never discuss freedom, American heritage, or how America has confronted her problems through the ages. Human rights and civil liberties problems remaining prevalent today in many of the nations to which he apologized.

When asked about American Exceptionalism, he would blandly declare that America, the America he now leads, is no more exceptional than any other nation. Other nations include communist dictatorships and theocratic thugocracies. Thus, proving that he does not comprehend that a nation founded on the guarantee of individual liberty is indeed the exception among nations. There is no other like it.

Having publicly declared his Christianity, he would be quick to declare the land founded seeking the protection of divine providence and whose motto is “In God We Trust” is not a Christian nation. Having previously declared his belief that marriage is between one man and one woman, he refuses to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and embraces the homosexual agenda. He practically bans God from the military and opens it to open homosexual service. He gives congratulatory telephone calls to professional athletes who declare their homosexuality. But never a word is mentioned when a true American hero is murdered.

He has embraced a culture of immorality that a “Christian” nation could never accept. If a young woman, misguided by loosening morality, becomes pregnant he bluntly retorts that he would not want her punished with a baby.

His mantra is equal justice, income equality or any other equality angle he can think of on the fly. His actions, however, have nothing to do with equality. With the help of identity fascists and federal government agencies, the actions clearly demonstrate that the equality talk is just that and for the benefit of those who live in the victim culture. His version of equality is oppressing, silencing, and utterly destroying anyone who does not accept and embrace his worldview.

He is supposedly at war with the wealthy. That is what he wants the victim culture to believe, but every action taken demonstrates that the war is on the American middle-class. Once the world’s strongest and the backbone of a free America. Every good communist knows he cannot control the people if there is a strong, self-reliant middle class ready to defend their way of life and freedom.

There always comes a time when the arrogant are humbled. They become such spectacular failures that their adoring disciples, out of a natural sense of survival, begin to fall away. Knowing that this too must end, they will abandon this ship of state. They may embrace a Godless immoral culture, but written on their hearts is individual liberty. They may not come out in vocal opposition, but they will grow silent and leave no big voices circling in defense. And the walls will come tumbling down. Pray the pendulum does not swing too far in the opposite direction.

First they came after Christians. Even the most ardent liberal mind knows that it does not end there – cannot end there and so must be stopped. God printed liberty in the hearts of all people liberal or otherwise. He put that power on grand display in this land. God is bigger than America. Because of Him, America is bigger than any single want to be dictator.

© 2104 J. D. Pendry