Friday, July 04, 2008

July 4th, 2008 (The Character of a Nation)

'DECADES later the Declaration of Independence was canonized as American scripture," historian Walter McDougall writes of the nation's founding document, "but in 1776 it was generally read once - in army camps, taverns, and village greens - cheered, and forgotten."

Its fate might have been to be forgotten forevermore, if it weren't for George Washington and his Continental Army. When our great adventure in liberty still seemed an impossible risk, they were the embodiment and vindicators of the Declaration. Our nation was born on the shoulders of an army, whose exertions and principled patriotism gave the famous parchment its life.....

Another thought on George Washington, from the King of England:

....Of course, when the war ended, he resigned his command and returned to Mount Vernon. Upon hearing the news, an astonished King George III said, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."

Character counts.

BAGHDADHow are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Without the unbroken chain of men of character from Washington's army to Petraeus', there would be few freedoms to hold dear on this Independence Day....

Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on the meaning of the Declaration, some fifty years after the fact:

....less than two months before his death on July 4, 1826, Jefferson was determinedly protective of his reputation as (he directed his tombstone to declare this) "author" of the Declaration. Still, he candidly acknowledged that it "was intended to be an expression of the American mind," not "aiming at originality of principle or sentiment." Hence, "all its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day."

And this is one of "dead white men" that we are supposed to revile, instead of his document sill an "expression of the American mind" 232 years hence? Well, I guess Obama could finesse his way around that, too...

But some things have changed for the better, at least since the liberals last held sway:

The young soldier hadn't slept in 48 hours or bathed in 72. Now that he was finally back from Iraq, all Pfc. Justin Gindhart wanted was a hot shower and a soft bed.

But these days, Gindhart discovered, a soldier's homecoming isn't always that simple.

To his surprise, there was a troop of motorcycle-riding Vietnam vets to greet him at the airport; a police-escorted motorcade, past blocked-off intersections and highway entrances, that backed up traffic for miles; an appearance at a support-the-troops rally; a gathering of neighbors and friends, alerted by fire and ambulance sirens, outside his family's house....

This is a good thing, a great thing. But remember, if Jay Rockerfeller and the Democrats had their druthers, they would be giving our heroes a completely different type (can we say "Vietnam Style"?) of "welcome home..."

I would like to offer a special thanks on this Independence Day to the American Soldier, unique in history for his/her ability, strength, will, courage, character, and compassion. Without your vigilance, all I have - spiritually and materialistically - is certainly lost.

And finally - what's the Fourth of July without some patriotic cheesecake?


Happy 4th of July !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Character Counts"!

And for the 08 election, there are two types of character clearly on disply; will America vote for what has served them so well over the last 200 years, or just grab the flavor of the month?