Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sacrifice (Part 2 of 2)

          What is it that our service members fight for? FREEDOM!

          When you study history you will see that almost without exception armies are raised to conquer other nations or territories so as to expand their territory, subduing cultures and peoples to a new way of living. That is, only if the conquerors allow the people they have conquered to live!

          Greece, Rome, China, Russia, Germany, Britain, and so on, all wanted to add to their kingdoms. The United States, on the other hand, has a history of defeating its enemies and then rebuilding that aggressor nation from the ground up. We have defeated Germany twice in the past 100 years, along with Italy, and Japan. We have engaged in wars and skirmishes in Central and South America also during that same period of time. We have acquired other nations from defeated foes like Spain in 1898. As part of the war settlement, we were given control of much of Spain’s vast acquisitions, namely: Puerto Rico, the Philippine Islands, Guam, and Cuba. Each of these countries was eventually granted its independence. In the case of the Philippines, we have liberated them twice from conquering nations. First, from Spain in 1898; and second, from Japan in 1945.

          The United States has had the muscle and the technology to conquer as much of the world as we could want – yet we have not done so. We have been accused of being imperialistic – but are we? Imperialism is “the policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.”

          In one sense we are imperialistic, but for a reason. We have maintained bases in countries that are friendly to us in order to protect not only that country from another aggressor nation, but to also protect America and her interests around the world. The formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was developed to protect Europe from the aggression of the former Soviet Union. If there were no other threats, then we would be content to leave those countries. Even after driving the German army out of France twice last century, the French government asked us to leave which we did in the 1970s. The same thing occurred with the Philippines in the early 1990s.

          Today we are faced with many challenges to our nation. War and rumors of war abound. Our State Department is acknowledging that we are prepared to stop the bloodshed occurring in Syria; and that we have the capability and the willingness to halt the advances of the nuclear development of bombs by a rogue nation, Iran.

President Calvin Coolidge, circa 1925, said this insightful quote regarding patriotism, “Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”

The Marine commanding general in Afghanistan read this letter on Memorial Day written by Marine sergeant, William Stacey, who left this for his family in the event of his death.

"My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all," Allen wrote. "But there is a greater meaning to it. Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his. And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader's henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire. He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it.

"Semper Fidelis means always faithful. Always faithful to God, Country and Corps. Always faithful to the principles and beliefs that guided me into the service. And on that day in October when I placed my hand on a bible and swore to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I meant it."

          Patriots are never in abundance. We need them every bit as much today as when George Washington was tasked with raising the Continental Army.

          Our freedoms come at great cost. It is the blood of patriots that has purchased our liberties.

          Such patriotism is needed today. Please, speak of the heroics of our fallen to your children and grandchildren. They need to hear about this from your lips. That is how it must be passed on if our freedoms are to be defended into the future.

          God bless you, and God bless America!

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