On this Veterans Day weekend, we recall all those who have served and given their lives for this country. Especially America’s first soldiers, the volunteers of the Continental Army who fought seemingly impossible odds to gain our nation’s independence from Great Britain. From their sacrifices, the rest of American history flowed.
The same degree of grit, determination and sacrifice can be seen today in our Armed Forces. So, it is appropriate today that we honor them and all the veterans, past and present, with us and not, whose sacrifices have helped to keep America free and to free million of others.
I have but two wishes on this day of remembrance….
One wish is that our soldiers in Afghanistan can return home soon. This conflict has gone on far too long, and taken too many lives, and expended far too much of our national wealth. After more than a decade of war, it’s time to come home.
My second wish is that today’s war hawks were willing to make any sacrifices on behalf of the causes for which they so eagerly send young men off to fight. Far too many politicians and pundits are happy to commit our troops to overseas wars, regardless of the costs in lives, fortunes and military strength.
But, when the bills come due, they are adamant about not paying anything extra to cover the $4 trillion cost. Raise my taxes? Never! Not a cent more! And yet these are the same people who decry deficit spending and the national debt. The cognitive dissonance on this over the last decade has been astounding.
One can only imagine what the shivering soldiers of the Continental Army — who crossed the Delaware River on a snowy Christmas night dressed in rags and shoeless — would make of today’s war hawks. Is this what they sacrificed for?
When the Signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged “to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor,” this was no rhetorical flourish. If they had been captured, or the war had ended badly, the British would have hanged them as traitors. They put everything on the line.
Name me a politician or pundit alive today who would take that same risk?
If today’s war hawks were forced to make sacrifices and faced genuine risks, they would be a lot more careful with the lives of our soldiers. And there would be more veterans alive today for us to honor.