Memorial Day is here!!
Memorial Day, like all military holidays, is special to me. As a former draft dodger and war protester in the Vietnam days, I have come to my senses long ago. Deep inside, I knew the valor of those who enlisted, or were drafted and put into combat situations. I guess you could say I have been trying to make up for it ever since by raising my seven children with a love for the military and American forces in general.
In From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan reflects on his foolish dallying with the anti war movement.
When the anti-war fervor subsided, and people started respecting the troops again, all these deferments didn’t seem so “honorable” anymore. From that time on, Morgan carried the reminder of his foolish ideas with him. He regretted not going into the service when so many of his friends paid the ultimate price. It made him angry when he saw the news clips of demonstrators spitting on returning troops. He even felt guilty for getting a high lottery number.
He can’t fix the past, but he tries to pay some of it back by supporting the troops and raising his kids to love the military and the victories they have won to keep us free. He knows that whenever the veterans are asked to stand at a public event, he cannot stand up with them. All he can do is look at them with admiration and clap.
I came to realize long ago that insisting on peace at all times, for every circumstance, and at all cost would only result in suffering a huge loss. You cannot stop bullies and aggressors with a doctrine of peace. You will only end up being conquered by them. Peace is the opposite of aggression, and the only way to avoid being conquered is to conquer.
This became so evident in the victories of World War II. There is no question that the peace America won, with the Allies, was better than German occupation and death camps. The atomic bomb not only save millions of Japanese and American lives (from an invasion of Japan), but it brought about peace in a region that suffered under Japanese atrocities.
Almost all veterans who had suffered through years of battle against the Japanese were extremely relieved when the atomic bomb ended the war. As usual, it is only people far removed by distance or time who pass judgment and wag their fingers at the morality of using it on a city. They refuse to acknowledge the facts and the consequences, because they don’t fit in with their view of the world. What everybody wanted most was the headline on August 14, 1945.
All praise and honor to our veterans, and especially to those who died for our country. We owe you our deepest gratitude!!