by Adam J. Wehrley
“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Richard Grenier
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”-Unknown
I believe in the American soldier. I believe that risking your life or laying down your life for the sake of others is a glorious thing. It is not something we have the right to ask our young men and women to do, but it something which has from time to time been a necessity for every society, in every place throughout human history.
Our veterans have set aside their own interests, and gone beyond the call of duty to seek the good of our nation. In many cases they return to civilian life as our most dedicated citizens.
Violence and greed, jealousy and rage have ruled in the hearts of evil men since the dawn of time. From the first time a good man stood against these evils in defense of those he loved there has been just cause for war.
Our freedom, prosperity and opportunity, which continue to make America a beacon of hope to the world, rest solidly on the foundation built by those who chose to defend freedom; those who won our independence, and those who’ve stood against oppression to this day.
The existence of prosperity, freedom, hope is enough to invoke hatred and jealousy in some. I reject wholeheartedly the presumption that America owes the world an apology for our success.
For a century, everywhere the boots of American soldiers have landed they have done so in the hope of bringing freedom and peace. From the trenches of World War I, through the countless battles of the Second World War and the conflicts against totalitarianism in the cold war, Korea and Vietnam, and today’s fight against the aggressions and oppression of militant Islam, our soldiers have had unprecedented success bringing freedom to the world and restraining those who would impose oppression on others.
Have our leaders and individual soldiers always acted justly and without self-interest? Of course not. Have their been cases where heinous acts were committed in the name of freedom? Yes.
We have been slow and hypocritical in the establishment of freedom and equality in our own land, but I believe our purpose as a nation and the motivations of the vast majority of the millions of soldiers we have sent to foreign lands has been just and necessary. Without their efforts the world would be a darker, more dangerous place.
Isolationism and pacifism are both forms of blind naiveté. Violence, oppression and hatred do not cease to flourish in the hearts of men because those who wish to be seem pious chose to abdicate their responsibility and against all human experience, preach that patriots laying down their arms, that peace makers becoming peace activists will inspire would-be aggressors to likewise lay down their arms. Appeasement of evil has only ever emboldened despots.
Military weakness does not restrain evil anymore than the innocence of childhood restrains the perversion of sexual predators. The sword, in the hands of the just, restrains evil. Religion, education, liberty and opportunity can turn hearts from evil, but the sword must always be present to protect the weak.
Those with the strength to stand against evil must do so. Evil needs no other invitation for aggression than the reasonable expectation that it will go unchallenged. The sword has always ruled in every land. If the just do not wield it, the evil shall.
Our nation was founded on and our soldiers have fought for the principle that “all men are created equal,” that each individual therefore has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The love each patriot holds for their nation and their comrades and the desire to foster liberty and basic rights has caused our best, our brightest and our bravest to venture forth into the terrors of war. They recognize the hard reality that evil needs no excuse or provocation, it needs only the opportunity provided by cowardice and indifference.
To surrender to evil makes one its victim, to compromise with it makes one a participant. Our veterans and our enlisted and reserve soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen are those, who seeing their nation’s need, chose to stand and be willing to lay down their lives for those they love.
They did not owe us their devotion. We do owe them our gratitude.
If it is not glorious to stand against evil, to fight and to bleed for the freedom of those you love, than what is glory? What is courage and honor and love?
Glory is not in war or the sword, it is in the heart of those who fight for the cause of freedom and justice. Glory is in the heart of the American Veteran.
We thank you for your service.