HUNKER DOWN WITH KES
They’ve Written Their Own Epitaph
Alot has been said, discussed, argued, pontificated and written lately about certain acts considered to be disrespectful to the American Flag and our veterans that have fought to preserve it. Many are “up in arms” over what they consider to be a “slight” to our heritage. Others maintain that freedom of speech gives them the right to protest. And let me tell you, there are many, many things in our nation right now that needs to be protested.
Opinions are not the issue this morning.
Let me tell you something about American veterans. They hunkered down on Bunker Hill in June of 1775 with a couple of long rifles and a knife and fought the mightiest army in the world to a virtual standstill. If his ammunition hadn’t run out, he’d still be fighting the invading Red Coats to this day!
Listen closely here. There ain’t nothing nobody can do, write, say, show on television or make up 242 years later that can take away one dot or one tittle from what those men did that day! They laid down in the dirt and died for a country that hadn’t even been born yet.
You can’t whistle that away!
The Civil War was quite possibly the most confusing and complicated conflict in history. It was certainly the most tragic. But the courage, fortitude and heroism on both sides can not be disclaimed. How could we ever forget or discount for a second the unbelievable Union stand at the Hornet’s Nest during the Battle of Shiloh. And how many times do Pickett’s men have to charge across the mile of open ground up to Cemetery Ridge for us to understand that the unwavering bravery of the American veteran can not and will not ever be called into question!
You can talk about the horrors of war till the cows come home. You can sing your dismay that men have to fight and die till you’re blue in the face…but you can not gloss over, belittle or change the fact of what the men down in the trenches were “putting on the line” every single day.
A unit of men reported to General William Tecumseh Sherman at Shiloh at the very moment the Confederate Army was overrunning the field. They asked where they needed to serve. Sherman’s answer was immediate and definite, “Go to where you hear the loudest firing.”
Try disrespecting that!
Can you imagine being in an open trench in the Argonne Forest during World War I. You had the Germans in front of you and the French behind you. You talk about untenable! Back home we sang happy songs like “How You Gonna Keep Them Down On The Farm”, but the more telling poem is, “In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row.”
Do you know how we got our doughboys “over there” so fast in 1918? It only takes half as long when you just train them to go one way.
If you’ve ever stood above the sunken remains of the Arizona Battleship in Pearl Harbor and listened to the silence… you know the reverence, respect and love for the American veteran is ironclad and forever.
If you’ve had the privilege and honor to stand on Omaha Beach and peer across the wide expanse of sand, you have some understanding as to why the courage and fortitude of the American veteran will never be challenged… We lost six thousand United States Marines raising that flag on Iwo Jima. We are not going to forget them…now… or ever!
Korea proved you couldn’t freeze our guys out. We watched Viet Nam on the nightly news. We saw the ravages of war first hand. And we realized what the American veteran had known for a couple of centuries—war IS hell!
Panama, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan raised up a new generation of active warriors and veterans. And believe me, each one of them is as revered and respected as any American soldier who has ever answered the call of this great nation.
Here’s the bottom line. We kid ourselves if we think by some word or act we can tarnish one teeny speck of what veterans have accomplished on our behalf. We don’t have to defend them. We don’t even have to give an accounting of what they have done.
We’re here. We are still a free country. We travel, worship, buy what we want, argue amongst ourselves, enjoy our own opinions and eat from an overflowing table everyday. That is testimony enough to the American veteran… Respectfully, Kes