by Mona Charen
Shipmates, there has been some conversation recently as to which generation served our nation the best. Each succeeding generation after WWII would say 'their's' - and I'd probably have to agree that my own generation's contribution in the Vietnam War was notable enough to place us in such a high standing as the 'Greatest Generation' - in my thinking, my brothers-in-arms who fought in the nasty, hot and steaming jungles of southeast Asia have the right to stand on such a lofty pedestal.. and they did it for Ten Years! But that truth aside.. I still admit and agree with others of my own generation, that the generation that fought the war to save the world, in both the European and the Pacific Theatre; they beyond any doubt have established their own standing as the Best Generation, bar none. Because of these fine men and women, I am able to breath and live free in this wonderful country we call the United States of America. Because of them, I was able to freely enlist in the United States Navy, and sail off to the Western Pacific to make my own contribution to the war effort in Vietnam. Because of these 'Gentle Heroes' - most of us came home. To those who did not, they are now in Good Company.
But my words are only one man's words about these Heroes.. Mona Charen, the author of the following article, has stated, most eloquently, my own feelings, and I am sure all of your feelings on the matter as well...
Pearl Harbor Day, which once sent a shiver down the spine of every American, now passes almost unnoticed as America slides into historical ignorance. For those alive on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese surprise attack on the Hawaiian Islands (even as peace talks were under way in Washington) knocked the collective wind out of this country. Prosperity and peace are the greatest gifts to which a nation can aspire - but we have found it easier to secure these blessings than to be grateful for them.
Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day are not quaint remembrances for those who had a personal role. They are intended for those who did not serve but enjoy the fruit of others' service. It is for us, the beneficiaries, to honor those who fought and those who died.
The contrast between 1941 and 1997 is stark. Today, at a "national town meeting" on race presided over by the President, Americans express their "pain" at being the "victims" of stereotyping. A girl of Puerto Rican extraction describes the torment of being asked why she doesn't have an accent. Peace and prosperity have dulled us to the true meaning of pain and have devalued the language of suffering.
When America was attacked and plunged into World War II, we were militarily and economically weak, and we faced two enemies of such surpassing evil it beggars the imagination. Whole libraries have been written to try to grasp the enormity of the Nazi Holocaust. Less attention has been paid to Japanese atrocities.
The enemy America faced in the Pacific was not easily differentiated from the Nazi enemy in Europe. Time has distorted that reality. Much ink has been spilled wondering whether America was morally justified in dropping the atomic bomb on two Japanese cities. But the rape of Nanking and the Bataan death march have dropped down the memory hole.
In her new book "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II", Iris Chang recounts the weeks-long orgy of murder, torture and rape that Japanese troops indulged in when they captured the Chinese capital in 1937. As Chang recounted on National Public Radio, the Japanese army, during a period of six to eight weeks, murdered 300,000 civilians and raped between 20,000 and 80,000 women.
Some of the murders were straight forward, death by machine gun. But the Japanese also engaged in beheading contests, skinning people alive and live burials. People were hanged from their tongues, and others, including small children, were tortured to death with needles. As for the rapes, they were creative. "They forced sons to rape mothers, and fathers their daughters. And they mutilated the bodies afterwards."
Defeat at the hands of such an enemy was horrifying but not inconceivable. We know about the courage of the World War II generation. But imagine their fear. Sixteen million Americans served in uniform during World War II - 400,000 were killed, 670,000 wounded, some grievously. The world total of soldiers killed was 28,504,000. Civilian deaths numbered 46,403,000.
The necessities of war transformed a depression-plagued, sluggish economy into a colossus. In 1939, the United States produced 58,065 aircraft. In 1944, it produced 96,318. The mining, manufacturing and construction industries doubled their production between 1939 and 1944. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor truly woke a sleeping giant. Not only did the United States repair and put to sea many of the ships bombed and torpedoed that day, but in the four years that followed, the United States built 124,000 more ships of every variety: 303,413 aircraft; 2,400,000 vehicles, 12,500,000 rifles and carbines, and 100,000 tanks.
The war spun people around the globe like tumbleweed, and newsreels brought the world war to the home front. Americans found themselves in Burma and Bombay, the Solomon Islands and Salzburg. We would never be provincial again.
About a thousand veterans of World War II die every day. A memorial has been planned for the mall in Washington. We need it, for the sake of historical memory, and to reconfirm our gratitude that those who faced the dangers of that time performed so magnificently.
Your Yeoman wishes to bring to mind what took place in Washington, DC, not too long ago, when certain groups, including the Japanese themselves, protested the Enola Gay display at the Smithsonian. And many heard their cries, yet has America now forgotten what happened at Pearl Harbor, so many years ago now? Have the cries for help been forgotten, from those trapped aboard the USS Arizona and other ships, because time has softened the sentiment of a generation now passing out?
Yet any true Sailor or American will never stop hearing those cries for help; or their call for vengeance. Today, our people are in a stupor, being lulled to sleep, like the then "Sleeping Giant" of that day, into thinking that we can never again be attacked in such a way, yet many of us will not stand still; will not sleep, will not forget. The saying," The Nation that cannot learn from its past mistakes is doomed to repeat them..." that, today, often falls on deaf ears, still is a bona fide fact, not some meaningless saying one found in an old History text book.
They call it being "Politically Correct" today, to not display an "instrument of so much death and misery," as the Enola Gay, to them invokes, yet to those who lived those years, and greater still, to us Veterans, the Enola Gay will always be a Memorial to those who struggled in that War, and even more so, to those who lost their lives in WWII.
While at the time, it was OK for the Japanese to wreck so much havoc on the world; in China; to those islanders of the island nations of the Pacific, which they subjugated, and to the millions who lost their lives in the Pacific War, we should, as God demands of us, FORGIVE, but we, as a Nation and as a People, should never FORGET! ~ Jake
Post Script as of September 11, 2001
Since the above Editorial was penned, we have, as a nation, once more experienced an attack that has paralleled the attack on Pearl Harbor; perhaps more have died in the attack on the World Trade Towers in lower Manhattan, than had died in the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941, so perhaps the "Sleeping Giant" has once more been stirred up enough to rise to another such occasion. I hope so. And we, as a Nation have experienced a rebirth of patriotism, and once more, the National Emblem, has been honored, and placed back on poles and unfurled to the attestation of such Pride and Patriotism.
Yes, America is great, but only if we continue to keep that Giant on his toes. We need to get back to God and Godly living and Godly Principles. We need to protect, not only our boundaries, but also our families, and the only true integrity of our Nation is in the Family Unit.
We have, as a nation, learned that we are never to big, too strong, or impervious to attack, albeit, we are the last Great Super Power left on the earth today. We have to be and remain forever vigilant. This vigilance comes from personal integrity, which begins in us, the family, our schools, and our Churches.
America is strong today, because we never lost our resolve to remain on Top, not for pride alone, but because we have a God-given Charge to be a bastion of Righteousness amid a world of chaos, filled with hatred, sin and avarice. We shall prevail only if we know the source of our Blessings, so when we shall say, "God Bless America" - that is a cry to get to work. Not to demand, but to work towards the right to be Blessed of God - through Moral Justice and Godly living.
January 20, 2002
Addendum to my January 20, 2002 Post Script
Today is Friday, April 6, 2007. Just this past week, I sat and watched on the Television Evening News, how our Flag was being dishonored, torn to shreds while burning our soldiers in effigy; no, not by Islamic Extremists in Iran, Iraq or some other hell-infested place in the Middle East; but on our own streets here in Portland, Oregon, of all places!! Yes the Liberal influences that are pervading our National politic is becoming more and more intense and yes, scary!
Only Five (5) years after 9/11, we find our flags once again put away and few are flown on houses constantly like they were a few days after the attack on the World Trade Center, in lower Manhattan.
As the Congress has once again been taken over by the Democrats and liberalism is sweeping the nation, due to a War that has worn out its welcome, we find a new breed of Politician now emerging from the muck of American Decay, who are pandering for the votes of Illegal aliens along the border in the border states. Shameful activity to say the least, yet America just winks at this kind of activity.
Instead, we find Nancy Pelosi, the new "Speaker of the House" visiting Syria! Why Syria, Nancy? Wouldn't your presence be more fitting and appreciated by our Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is your agenda, Ms. Pelosi?
What has disturbed this Yeoman more than anything else, is to see our own people allowing this kind activity and this kind of civil unrest. For me to see our own citizens who have been enjoying the Freedoms that our Veterans have striven so desperately towards in the past wars, burning our National Emblem, and tearing it to shreds, while they hang and burn our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in effigy; this kind of activity is simply appalling to me who is a proud Naval Veteran of the Vietnam conflict.
What I commented in the Post Script above, about what can happen to us, if we do not guard against national complacency, has come to pass. When you see such individuals as the mother of a Marine who was tragically killed in Iraq while doing his duty, dishonoring her son and his sacrifice and the Nation he fought and died for, and joining forces with other people who have dishonored this country during the Vietnam War and now our current struggle, is just sickening to me and ought not to be, yet important Hollywood celebrities are aligning themselves with these individuals and driving the dishonor home to the heart of this Nation, like a dagger!
If I didn't know that the God of Heaven was still in control and at the Helm, I'd say we are doomed as a nation. I can feel and sense the feelings of True Americans and Patriots but more importantly, I feel the incense of all our Veterans who have always loved and appreciated this Free Land at what is taking place.
For me, it is so very disheartening and disturbing to see this once Great Nation being torn apart. And today, I see very little that would encourage me to feel that there is hope, but there are people in this land who will not bow to the present state of political complacency and who still trust and believe in the God who blessed us as a Nation for all the years previous to the present. In Him, and in Him alone, we can Trust; in Him we know there is Hope, and in Him we should continue the Struggle. Evil has always been overturned by Good and Righteous people and causes; Good is not dead any more than God is dead. Those who regard Him as Dead have no hope and they are the ones who are seeking to destroy us.
As an Enemy hath destroyed previous Nations in History, if we are not careful, they will succeed in destroying us as well. As I said previously, only if we return to Godly virtue and Righteous judgments will we succeed in pulling this nation out of its current condition. My last word on this is:
"This Site is dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives to preserve the ideals that we all hold so dear. Freedom is not Free. If we fail to protect and preserve it, we could lose it."
And "The Nation who is not concerned about the Righteous, Religious, and yes, Christian Education of it's youth, need not worry about their future, they have no future…"
This Website strives to encourage Americanism on every Quarter. It also strives to avoid Political Correctness. If I used the term, "Christian" you can darn well know that that's exactly how I feel and believe. This nation was originally established as a Christian Nation where we allowed everyone the same privileges to worship Almighty God as they saw fit; that is still the way I believe is the right way to go. You may not be a Christian, and I will respect you and allow you to worship who, what or where you wish to worship, or your right to not worship at all, but I will darn well expect you to respect me for my right to Claim Christ as my Savior and Redeemer, and that we all have the right to Worship or not to worship as we see fit.
If that 'notorious legal institution' which seeks to destroy our Christian values in this country states that I am wrong here, they are wrong, because they will have to search out the Constitution enough before they demand that I no longer use the words "Jesus Christ", or claim that this Nation is a Christian Nation. I say it IS a Christian Nation, but only when Christians and Jews and other faiths acknowledge that it is a Free Nation where we can worship as we see fit. Subjective as it may sound, I know, believe and accept that the God of this Land is Jesus Christ. To dishonor Him is to slap God in the face, and I will never do that, and I'll also never allow anyone or organization stop me from believing so.
History will prove that when our fore-fathers came to these shores, they created governments that protected the freedom of religion, and forced no one to believe in one appointed faith. They NEVER desired freedom from religion; that was never their agenda, nor should it be that legal institution's agenda either, and as long as there is life in me, I will fight to keep such an agenda from overtaking the mindset and politic of this still Great Nation, which is and will forever be One Nation, Under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all!
If such a Nation doesn't fit into your agenda or you are not willing to allow others the right to act as Americans with all their Rights intact, then I ask you to leave NOW and don't let the door hit you in the ass as you leave! Australia has the right idea; we should follow their example!
- The Yeoman
I pledge allegiance to the Flag,
Of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands,
One Nation, under God, Indivisible,
With Liberty, and Justice for All!
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Muslims out of Australia
Go to Snopes.com for full Article
Go to ABC News Online for Article, 'Minister tells Muslims: Accept Aussie values or 'Clear off'