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Memorial Day 2014: Was it all in vain?

Apathetic Americans mock sacrifices of our war dead.
Apathetic Americans mock sacrifices of our war dead.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On May 26 there will be the usual laying of wreaths, the wearing of paper poppies hand-made by The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the haunting sound of “Taps” across the nation for which nearly 2 million Americans have died since its founding.

But even more haunting is this thought: Was it worth the sacrifice?

Why bother with memorial services and decorating the graves of those who gave all, many of whom never saw their 21st birthdays, while the federal government continues to desecrate the very principles and values those young Americans were told they were protecting? We continue to send youngsters abroad to defend everyone else’s borders, but how many of our military personnel will you find along ours?

Far too many hypocritical members of Congress today parade around with American flag lapel pins that became fashionable after 9/11, but the very things Old Glory represent are just so many words that daily get brushed aside by those in both political parties who have the gall to call themselves “lawmakers.” They openly mock the rule of law and our sovereignty as they continue their efforts to undermine both. Like small children fighting over candy, they fall all over themselves in hopes of one day attracting something that has become even more precious to them than the document they swore to uphold and defend: The votes of those who today have no right to be here in the first place.

Amnesty – and work permits – for nearly 12 million illegal aliens as well as doubling legal immigration to 2 million people annually while 20 million Americans can’t find full-time work are being proposed. “It’s the right thing to do,” says our “Commander in Chief,” a poseur who chooses to enforce only those laws that suit him. Illegal aliens “already are Americans,” says Vice President Joe Biden. And let’s not forget the arrogant Democrat from Chicago, Rep. Luis Guiterrez, who several years ago said his only loyalty is to immigrants, especially those here illegally.

Let’s give citizenship to those illegal aliens who serve in our military, say certain members of Congress. These people have shown no respect for our laws, and now suddenly we are to believe they are willing to defend them? What does this say to the millions of immigrants who have stood in line for years waiting to become citizens? More importantly, what does it say to our veterans?

If you visit a cemetery on Memorial Day to thank those who served, do it early in the morning or just before it closes, when it is the most quiet. When you walk by those headstones, especially of those who died very young, think of the final lines of John McCrae’s immortal poem:

If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Many of the people we elect to Congress soon forget about their oath of office because millions of us have found all sorts of excuses for not holding them accountable. By not defending what historian Bruce Catton called “The Bold and Magnificent Dream” we are in fact breaking faith with those whose sacrifice we are about to honor.

This country’s future is not guaranteed, it never was. Frankly, it is looking increasingly dim because through our apathy we have given both the Democratic and Republican parties alike reason to believe ordinary citizens are no longer needed to help determine what’s best for them. They seek our votes only to remain in office in order to be able to work against us. Their primary concern now is to advance an agenda that says the rule of law and national sovereignty are outdated concepts that are obstacles to the pursuit of profits and control over every aspect of our lives.

If the nation envisioned by the Founding Fathers is to survive we have to do much more than fly flags, make speeches and lay wreaths once a year. Continuing to sit on our hands knowing something is wrong but remaining silent isn’t part of the solution and strikes at the very heart of why there is a Memorial Day.

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