Winners and Losers
J. D. Pendry
“O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life…”
- O Beautiful for Spacious Skies, Katharine L Bates, 1904
I visited my Father this Memorial Day weekend. Along with siblings and wives, we cleaned the grass clippings from the headstone bearing his name and my Mother’s. We also cleaned the clippings from the Veteran’s plaque at the foot of the grave, added some fresh flower decorations and flags. Small American flags dotted the cemetery, each of them marking the resting place of a Veteran. The cemetery caretakers place them there. A small, solitary flag is all that marked some graves. Maybe their visitors would come later in the day.
Each time I take in that scene I cannot help but wonder, without Americans such as these “who more than self their country loved”, where might we be today? Or, what might we be? Their sacrifices throughout our history have allowed us to live free and prosper. They are winners, “heroes proved”, all of them. They were winners when winning mattered.
I have a challenge for you. Maybe you can offer it to your favorite politician as well. Name a war in which the winners decided that it was ended. Having trouble? The Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, or maybe World War II? In each of them, it was the loser’s surrender that ended it.
Losers have a potent voice in America these days, especially since losing Vietnam for us. They control much of the political debate and are bolstered by a like-minded media who happily propagandize for them. You knew these losers when they were kids. Every day at school, they’d get punched in the face, have their book bags tossed in the dumpster and lose their lunch money to some illiterate slug. They always believed that their superior intellect and understanding would extricate them from those situations. It never dawned on them that an ignorant hooligan wasn’t interested much in their tolerance or intellectual ability. The bully wanted to dominate them and take what they had and was willing to bloody their nose to achieve his aims. He usually wasn’t inclined toward reasonable dialogue.
It is quite easy to pick out our now adult losers. They begin every statement claiming to speak for most Americans, so convinced that most Americans must think as they do. “Most Americans want.” “Most Americans need.” “Most Americans think.” If this is what one hears each time the television news plays, which is where most of us have our thoughts programmed each day, some of us will start to believe that we’re not normal unless we want, need or think as the losers insist most of us do. To prove themselves superior they must define others as inferior. They’ve often referred to the men and women, many of whom rest beneath those flags, as murderers, Nazis, terrorists…you’ve heard it all so you don’t need the laundry list. A soon as they define others, then they start insisting that it’s the moral high ground we must achieve - the same moral high ground that left them with bloody noses and no lunch money.
Someday, and it’ll probably be after we’ve lost a city and a million citizens, they might come to realize that there is an entity out there that is only interested in our destruction. They don’t want what we have; they just want to remove it from the world so others can’t have it or know of it. By the time they’ve had their epiphany, however, it just might be too late.
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence
What we hold true, their “Creator” does not. They cannot understand a God that gave men the free will to choose their paths. They cannot understand a nation that began its history with that concept. They want us and that idea gone more than they want themselves to live. They are not interested in our intellect and tolerance. They are dangerous and are committed to total war. We aren’t.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan
The men and women who rest beneath those flags on this day had the strength and courage to face our enemies so that our cherished freedom could pass to us. If we follow the losers and surrender, we will have failed in preserving that gift and passing it to future generations of Americans.
Copyright © 2007 J. D. Pendry