In light of the earlier post below, and the Colonels appeal, I have been considering our past, and our ancestors response to difficult circumstances.
We have the words of Patrick Henry, uttered before the Virginia House of Burgesses while they dithered over whether to mobilize to fight the encroaching forces of the Kings military, (He was born in Studley, Virginia, can you think of a better name for a place which produced such a man?):
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
We have the words of John Paul Jones, while his own ship was sinking around him, and the British demanded surrender:
"I have not yet begun to fight!"
3 hours later, the British flagship, Serapis, surrendered herself, and the new American Navy had won perhaps the most astounding naval victory in history.
Have we committed ourselves to those same levels of determination and persistence to rid ourselves of the self imposed tyranny we are witnessing?
We have the actions of militia men at Concord, where 200 or 300 militia men sent 3 companies of the Kings men in retreat, to be rescued by reinforcements, and then harassed them all the way back to Charlestown and Boston, firing what would later be called. "The shot heard round the world".
We have the actions of Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, where 3500 American troops, including freed slaves, Baratarian pirates, Choctaw warriors and militias from Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi not only battled but defeated a force four times as large of hardened and trained British troops, some of whom defeated Napolean at Waterloo.
We have the actions of Robert E Lee, who turned down command of the Union Army out of allegiance to his home state, Virginia, then led smaller, poorly equipped Confederate armies to victories at the Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Manassa (Bull Run), the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Cold Harbor. This was a man who became not only a hero to the South, but who was worshipped in the North as well, because he sought reconciliation and friendship once the last shot was fired.
We have the actions of Abraham Lincoln, a farm boy from the midwest, who went on to write:
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
We have the actions of that same Lincoln, who put in place the framework to heal our Nation after it suffered that great abomination known as the Civil War, which pitted father against son, and brother against brother.
Are we now committed to carrying forth those heroic words? Are we now resolved to make sure that those men, indeed, did not die in vain? Are we now determined that our country should have a new birth of freedom, unencumbered by the whims of those who would rule over us, instead of respecting our freedom?
We have the actions of Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill, which were so valorous as to have him submitted for the Medal of Honor, finally awarded many years later, after his death. Our only President to win the Medal of Honor, and the only man in history to win both the Medal of Honor for his actions as a warrior, and the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions as a President. (Contrast that with the current holder of the Nobel Peace Prize!)
We have the words of Teddy Roosevelt, too:
"...the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less that he shows himself worthy to have."
How different from our current state of affairs, where our countrymen seem to want to value some not on merit, but on some other basis, unexplainable, and catastrophic to society!
We have the actions of Alvin York, a 20 year old Army sergeant from Tennessee of English/Irish/Cherokee/Choctaw ancestry, who singlehandedly went up a hill covered with German machine gun nests during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. While repeatedly calling for them to surrender:
"And those machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful. And the Germans were yelling orders. You never heard such a racket in all of your life. I didn't have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had."
His actions took 32 machine guns, killed 28 German machine gunners, and captured 600 prisoners.
And they won him the Medal of Honor.
We have the actions of the Marines on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.
We have the actions of Audie Murphy, a 5' 5", and 110 pound Texan, who entered the Army at age 17 after being turned down by the paratroopers and Marines for being too small. He never grew much, leaving the Army at 5'7" and 145.
But in between, he became the most decorated American soldier of World War II, earning EVERY medal then available, and having been awarded at least 5 of them twice. As a 19 year old he performed an action of incredible bravery.
The citation for his Medal of Honor reads:
"Second Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire, which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad that was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued his single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way back to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack, which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective."
We have dozens more Medal of Honor winners to pick from, and of whom we should be following example.
These were men who risked their lives, and many whom gave their lives, to defend the freedoms that we seem so determined to allow politicians to legislate from us.
WE ARE AMERICANS!
We are the offspring of the Greatest Generation, the descendants of heroes like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, and others.
We are a country that started in the small states of New England on the edge of a vast continent, and grew to occupy that continent from Atlantic to Pacific, and then beyond.
We have an unmatched history of heroes. Men like Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Sam Houston, Alan Shepard, Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, Carlos Hathcock, Chesty Puller, Douglas MacArthur, Jimmy Stewart (did you know he enlisted as a private, earned his pilots wings, was commissioned an officer and then flew more than twenty bombing missions over Germany? The exact number is unknown because he, acting as commander, made sure they stopped counting at 20. He rose to Colonel from private in 4 years, and eventually was promoted to Brigadier General.)
We have so many heroes that I can only begin to barely scratch the surface.
Name a problem, and it appears that God put Americans on Earth to solve it:
Need a mechanical manner to harvest cotton when slavery doesn't work? We've got Eli Whitney.
Need a sewing machine to decrease labor and increase production? We have Isaac Singer and Elias Howe.
Need electric lighting? We've got Thomas Edison.
Need cheap mechanical transportation? We've got Henry Ford, who put America on wheels while the rest of the world looked at the car as a curiosity.
Need to fly? We have to brothers who made that happen, the Wrights.
Need to end large scale war, and do it in 3 years? We have the Manhattan project, which brought together geniuses from all over the world in a collective effort. ONLY IN AMERICA!
Need to win a war on TWO fronts literally halfway around the world from each other, against two war machines that have marched through dozens of other countries? We have the men and women of the US military.
Need a man on the Moon? We've got the collective geniuses at NASA, who before they were a bureacracy, were able to solve problems that no one else could even envision.
Need TV? We've a got Philo Farnsworth, a Mormon farmboy from Utah and Idaho.
And it goes on and on an on and on!
WE ARE AMERICANS!
We are faced now with issues that many of us never dreamed would be a problem. A country founded on the principal of less government interference is rapidly becoming one of gross oversight by those whom we elect to serve us. Instead, we find ourselves increasingly enslaved by their decisions. Decisions which we may not agree with, but which we find almost impossible to change.
NOW is the time, HERE is the place, WE are the people, and WE must change this progression, or OUR children and grandchildren will live in a place that will be so foreign that those great men, the Founding Fathers, will not recognize it.
Thomas Paine said:
"If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
NOW we must begin to say, "NO"! It can go no farther if we are to have any hope of avoiding the crushing bootheel of legislation that will undermine are very lives.
NOW is the time to say, "If you voted against what I believe are the principles upon which this country was founded, you have no right to office."
NOW is the time to become involved, to get off your couch, and to VOTE. VOTE for those who represent what YOU believe in, and when someone does not represent your view, VOTE them out of office by electing someone who will
WE ARE AMERICANS and we can change the direction our country is going. WE have done more difficult things, WE have accomplished more difficult things.
WE MUST change this!
WE ARE AMERICANS and there is NO IMPOSSIBLE!