The Beautiful American
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley
Stories for Life Index
It was our Blessed Lord Himself who told us, "Greater love than this no man has, than that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) While it was true that Our Divine Lord was talking about Himself when he said this, it is not difficult to transfer the idea to anyone who sacrifices his lie in any way for other people.
In keeping with this idea, then, we should often give and pay special tribute to those gallant men and women who, down through the years, gave their lives in combat to bring the peace and freedom to the America that you and I now enjoy.
Freedom isn't free: it never has been. It really costs a lot. It especially cost the Continental Army who, over two hundred years ago, fought to declare themselves independent of England. These brave men knew that, because of the Declaration of Independence, they would have to fight for the freedom they wanted and that they might have to fight again at a later date to keep it. Freedom was finally won by their bravery, their courage and their unyielding belief that only when a man is willing to fight for what he believes in should he be truly free.
They endured the strenuous labors of crossing the Delaware, the cold at Valley Forge, Saratoga, and finally the rigors of Yorktown to initiate an infant nation dedicated to and rooted in the idea that freedom is a God-given right and that sometimes we must give up the ease we have to keep the liberty we want. Freedom has never been free.
Countless courageous Americans have given up their lives since then to preserve our precious heritage. They fought in 1812 to maintain freedom, in 1918 to make the world safe for Democracy and they died again in 1941 when the Japanese, in an unforgettable act of treachery and deceit, bombed Pearl Harbor. They died to preserve peace when Hitler's Nazi stormtroopers ravaged Europe. We all hoped that that war would put an end to tyranny for all times; and it might have, except that Bolshevik Communism raised its ugly head to incarcerate over a billion slaves behind the Iron Curtain. Since then, we have fought many a battle to bury Communism.\
Over 36,000 brave American martyrs died in Korea to prove that we would not tolerate the further rape of freedom by Totalitarian Communism; and in Vietnam over 50,000 Americans gave up their young lives to prove that men should have the right to determine their own government. Our only sin in Korea and in Vietnam was in not winning because people high in government tied one hand behind our own soldier's backs. Freedom certainly isn't free, is it? History has proved again and again that only when a man stands up to defend his freedom from an aggressor can he truly remain free.
Yet we all know that today in the United States there is a loud, rowdy, noisy group of vulgar debunkers. They go about tearing down everything that America has built up and worked hard to protect. They tell us, for example, that George Washington wasn't perfect . . . he cursed! Well, I want to go on the record right here and now to say that if I had to put up with what Washington had to put up with at Valley Forge, I'd curse too! And many of the debunkers, I am sure, have quite a nasty vocabulary of their own, and use it with much less provocation than did George Washington. These debunkers tell us that America wasn't lily white - that we were not always perfect - they accuse Democracy of doing this to one group and that to another. My answer to such accusations is, baloney! Yes, we American have faults and sins I confess, but I do not know of any other nation, and I challenge the debunkers to any other nation, who has done more for the world at large than the United States. When an earthquake destroys a city, American help is there immediately; when a volcano spews out death and destruction, American help is on the way. In floods, famine, tornadoes, in Saudi Arabia, in Somalia, even in defense of Israel, America sends aid. Americans are charitable. Who dares call us the Ugly Americans? We are far from ugly; we are beautiful! We have given to the world a hundred times over. We have not given only our money, we have given our blood. We have given from the bottom of our beautiful and charitable American hearts. There are very few countries in the world who have not been helped some time or another by the Beautiful Americans in this century. Germany, Japan, and recently Russia, all our former deadly enemies, can attest to the charitableness and forgiveness of America the beautiful.
I must admit that I become impatient with those who miss the forest of America's generosity for the few branches or leaves of misconduct of our past. taken within the context and rationalization of the era in which they happened, our mistakes are understandable . . . yet regrettable. Sometimes our worst critics are people who have never actually done a thing themselves to better the world; but it has always been easier to tear down than to build up.
Scripture tells us that charity coves a multitude of sins. Let us tell the debunkers in no uncertain terms that our American charity has never had an equal on this planet. Let the nation or liberal group without any sin be the one to cast the first stone at our modest faults.
So, keep your head high. As one of the beautiful American you have much to be proud of. Be especially proud of our military men and women - sailors, soldiers, Marines and Air Force - men and women who had full lives ahead of them, but who sacrificed their lives in war that freedom might live . . . that we could enjoy the freedoms of glory in which we enshrine thee honored dead. These brave ones died in many wars, hoping that their deaths would hurry the day when all Americans everywhere would be truly free; that men everywhere would one day be truly free. Let them not have died in vain.
Always defend American ideals, especially against those who gnaw daily against the foundation of good government - Religion and true education. continue to hold our military in great respect. Freedom isn't free. It truly costs a lot. It may even cost us again some day. Let us teach our children to be generous with their service to America. Teach your children to see through the shallowness of a liberalism which does not tolerate views other than its own - of a liberalism which is more interested in spotted owls than in the protection of the unborn humans.
Stand up for America, and for her great past. Our forefathers were religious people; their writings were replete with references to God. Let us keep their religious ideals alive even if we must start the Catacombs all over again. Thumbs up to our military; thumbs up to the beautiful American. We're number ONE!