Almost 234 years ago some very brave men met in Philadelphia. Led by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, they declared our nation’s independence. The Father of our Country, George Washington, formed a small citizen army. They were undertrained, underequiped and underfunded. But they made up for their deficiencies with spirited patriotism, ruggedness and grit. With little food and without adequate clothing or shelter, they endured harsh winters in their campaign for freedom and independence. Against daunting odds they defeated the strongest, best trained and best equiped military force in the world at that time. Many paid the ultimate sacrifice as they suffered bitter defeats and setbacks but they persevered. It would have been fitting if Al Michaels had been around to proclaim, “Do you believe in miracles?!”
Since then the brave men and women, who have served in our military, have worked, fought and died to protect the liberties and freedoms which were won by Washington’s courageous citizen soldiers. Their bodies have littered many battlefields such as Queenston Heights, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Khe Sahn, Baghdad and the mountains of Afghanistan.
The World War II generation has been touted as the greatest ever. That may or may not be true but they did endure great hardships, and they accomplished great things. The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, Pearl Harbor and a brutal two-front worldwide war could not break their spirit nor weaken their resolve. On the warfront and the homefront they fought and labored to not only preserve liberty and freedom here at home but to also stop tyrants with mighty war machines from taking over the world. Sacrifice and honor were the trademarks of this remarkable generation of Americans.
Today, there are too many Americans who have been raised in an atmosphere of privilege. As parents and grandparents, we have spoiled them, pampered them and have uplifted their self esteem to the point that many believe that they’re the center of the universe. Too many think that the human condition and history didn’t start until the day they were born. They take liberty and freedom for granted, and they are too willing to give it up. They feel entitled to the point that they think someone else (the government, their parents etc.) should be responsible for their sustenance, their college education, their housing, their healthcare and anything else they might need or desire in this life. Many deadbeat slackers are jobless by choice and are still living with their parents well into their 30’s. I’m afraid that generations X and Y would not have the backbone, the resolve, the work ethic nor the ruggedness to take on anything nearly as daunting as World War II. They wouldn’t be willing to bow their necks and hunker down to accept the challenge. And sadly, us Baby Boomers aren’t much better. We may be worse because we created this mess.
It is the present environment of entitlement, which has been years in the making, that has given rise to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their ilk. Many are looking for a handout of some kind. Few will accept responsibility for their actions. They’re more concerned about themselves and are less concerned about their country. This great nation is on the verge of becoming a socialist “nanny state” of lazy video game playing, TV watching, drug using, basement dwelling, couch potato slackers, and countries like China, India and Brazil will pass us by.
The Tea Party movement, the raucous town hall meetings and the groundswell of rejuvenated conservatives have provided me with a dim ray of hope. I pray that we can turn this situation around before it’s too late. Too many brave people have fought, sacrificed and died for this great Republic for us to let it be tossed away like yesterday’s newspaper. I am praying that the American people will come through in the clutch this time like so many have in our glorious history.