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11.11.2004

With Honor and Duty

Once again, Veteran's Day arrives on a somehow befitting and somber cold grey November day. This day offers time to reflect on those who have sacrificed their lives for our country and those who have made a commitment of blood to do the same.

The respective motto's of our fighting forces stand out as a last honorable creeds in a world dominated by insincere slogans.

Marine Corps - Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
Army - This We'll Defend
Navy - Non Sibi Sed Patriae! (Not for self, but country)
Air Force - Uno Ab Alto (One over all)

There is a special place in my heart for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines as I once proudly served with them. I respect every man and woman who ever donned the uniform and took the oath. Although, I may not always agree with them, I still respect their choice to serve and they will always be my brothers and sisters in arms.

I cannot say the same for those proponents, cheerleaders and faint hearted flag wavers who lust for war but run from service.

"War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it."
- Desiderius Erasmus
I am always amazed at the bloodlust of those who have chosen not to serve. The media personalities like Hannity, Savage, Limbaugh, Edwards, Coulter, Traber, Humphries, Boortz, Gingrich, O'Reilly, and the rest of the cowards who, though they deliberately chose not to serve or sacrifice anything in their lives for their country, insist on beating the drums of war with such passion as to question the patriotism of those who object to unnecessary conflict.

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Cowardice is not limited to the media though, the current administration is filled with draft dodgers, malingerers and cheats who used every means at their disposal to avoid service in times of war. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Delay, Lott, Feith, and the rest. So eager to send our military men and women to a pre-ordained war, they planned, connived and gleefully used an attack on America as a way to bring their scheme to fruition.

"The mothers and fathers of America will give you their sons and daughters...with the confidence in you that you will not needlessly waste their lives. And you dare not. That's the burden the mantle of leadership places upon you. You could be the person who gives the orders that will bring about the deaths of thousands and thousands of young men and women. It is an awesome responsibility. You cannot fail. You dare not fail..."
-General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
Only those who have served know the honor and sacrifice it takes. Only those who have fought know that the glory of war is not glorious and death and destruction are not to be cheered. I wonder at the bravery and dedication of common men and women who lay down their lives for their comrades. Who die in our names.

I honor their sacrifice and pray it will not be in vain.

The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
- General Douglas MacArthur


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