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The grand images of the 20th Century included the sinking of the Lusitania, World War I – trench warfare, the explosion of the Hindenberg Dirigible, Pearl Harbor December 7th, 1941, the Blitz of London, the Atomic Bomb falling on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the frozen tundra of Korea, the vapid jungles and napalm of Vietnam and the mechanized tanks of Desert Storm! Putting it all into perspective, those that are under 20 years of age….may not remember any of that. Many of those under 20 years of age may have a tough time even remembering the turn of the century in 2000. Do they remember 9/11? Do they remember the 2nd war in Iraq? Do they know we are at war in Afghanistan for over 11 years?
Today is Memorial Day 2013! 100 years ago, America was a peaceful, isolated country. America had fought the Spanish in the Spanish-American War however and had quickly become a major global Colonial power. The Philippines, Cuba, Hawaii a variety of islands and a sphere of influence in parts of China and other places around the world. In each of those cases, American lives were lost. Even areas on the southern border of the United States required the use of “Blackjack Pershing” and the Cavalry of the United States against the great Mexican hero….Pancho Villa. Britannia Ruled the Seas in the early days of the 20th Century, along with the Germans, the French, the Dutch, the Portuguese and the Italians. The 2oth Century is now an historical blurr to the senses. Was anything learned?
They call the 20th Century….the American Century….how many of our citizens died, were maimed, mentally disabled or financially traumatized because they went to war? Jobs were created, immigrants came and our population skyrocketed. Without new jobs, without new demand by new immigrants the land lays fallow. Who will buy more than they need to keep the economy going? The population of the United States in 1940 was 132 million. In 2012, 314 million.
When the 21st Century came in Bill Clinton was the President. He had bombed and occupied people in Yugoslavia and bombed a Pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan that made aspirin. He had killed more American people at Waco with David Koresh than any prior American President since the food riots of the early 20th Century. This time is known as the greatest peace time expansion of our enconomic system in history. Of course, the Banking rules were all changed and the protections of Glass-Steagall removed. The rise of Hedge Funds and Complex Derivatives set in motion the greatest banking failure in American History….since in the great depression. Which all goes to the issue of; events have consequences!
President Lyndon Baines Johnson ran a bad Vietnam war. President Richard Nixon took too long to end it and didn’t bring all of our POW/MIA/KIA’s home. President Gerald Ford did nothing to bring our boys home and only the efforts of private citizens including Ross Perot assisted in bringing some home. President Jimmy Carter did nothing to bring home our POW’s either. President Ronald Reagan did what he could to find, to help repatriate and organizations like the POW/MIA people make those flags even today a National Symbol…..that we would never leave any soldier behind again! That policy is still in place and we are so proud of our military and belief in that mission statement. Bring all our folks home!
For those of us that gave up a couple of years of our lives, to serve in the military of this United States – it was not a hero duty. It was not because we wanted to go. Every mother and father that loved us……wanted us NOT TO GO! War is indeed the most disagreeable of all human endeavors. War is based upon politics, greed, economical concerns and the desire to the control the minds of those that are conquered. American Indians were dispossessd of their lands by Presidents of the United States. Those lands were needed for immigrants….new customers…..new soldiers……new employees for growing businesses.
When those of us that came back from the Vietnam experience…no matter where we served…….we were called “Baby Killers”. We were called “Murderers”. We were called “Animals”. We never met anyone in the Army that was Drafted that ever wanted to kill anyone. We can’t think of anyone that joined for three or four years wanted to kill anyone either. Those that called us names back home were examples of those that little understood the meaning of patroitism. Those that called us names little understood the meaning of what Representative Government is all about. Those same folks are with us today. We did not go to war for LBJ or Robert Strange McNamara. We didn’t vote for either one. We just understood that the President that chosen by the majority of the people of these United States had made the decision….that he thought it was in the best interest of United States….that we should be sent into battle. Many sent to our deaths to defend the borders of the United States of America. Our choice was based upon a Draft Board located in Santa Ana, California. The President that sent us to war was LBJ! We never liked him, never wanted to get to know him – but we believed in Mom – Dad – little sister, our family, our friends, our State our loves. We all went because we knew it was our responsibility….no matter how irrational or corrupt. We went to Vietnam for over 200 years of American history. In 1967, the population of the United States was almost 199 million. Mom asked that we all came back with our arms and legs and all our faculties – God blessed us!
Today, this is indeed the 21st Century. We made it passed the Millennium, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, the death of Osama Bin Laden and a future for country and world that is always uncertain. Our incredibly brave men and women that have volunteered to serve our country do so…..to defend us all. If there are those that hate war and don’t believe in it – we understand. We too hate war. What we would of course hate much worse would be that some foreign power or religion attempt to govern this country. In spite of all our faults – we stand as best we can in this ever shrinking world…..for American Freedom and self -determination for the next 100 years…..to start. As long as we have American Patriots…..those that stand up…in uniform or out…we will have our country and one we can be proud of in every respect.
May each of our soldiers be blessed - that serve now or have every worn the uniform of the United States of America. May their service and memory always ever remain honorable!
Another American Century!