Patriotism And Freedom
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Patriotism And Freedom
Stephen A. Peterson
I have considered myself a patriot during the early years of my life even when I was compelled, by circumstance, to grow up in a segregated America. In spite of this, I was raised around maternal and paternal family members who have long served the United States in every war since before nationhood—Indian scouts, infantryman, corpsmen to name a few. Therefore, I believe I was raised around a family and its members who knew the meaning of patriotism and answered the nation’s call when called.
My father served his country during World War II as a galley man and surveyor in the United States Navy though having a college education and probably should have been an officer commanding units. In that rarely mentioned war within a war, my father’s racially segregated unit helped layout and build the Alaska-Canadian highway instrumental in moving men and materiel to stop and defeat a Japanese invasion of Alaska via the Aleutian Islands.
My maternal grandfather lost his life as a result of injuries sustained in World War I.
My mother’s brother was a Tuskegee Airman seeing action in the Korean conflict. The number of air combat awards and medals awarded my uncle and his unit in World War II and Korea are only now being revealed.
My maternal great uncle served with General George Patton during his Sicilian, Normandy and German invasions and campaigns. He nearly lost his life while on a scout reconnaissance mission in France.
Four of my 7 brothers (to include myself) served in the Army, Air Force and Navy during the Vietnam War period. Two of us were nearly killed.
I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery in June, 1970. I have served in every conflict beginning with Vietnam on active duty and as a Reservist to this day. I, therefore, have seen and know the horrors of war as well as the compassion, empathy and patriotism of American service men and women of every branch of the United States military. The accusations of misconduct are extremely few, inexcusable and do not represent the conduct of the men and women of the United States military. The left leaning news media do not reflect the hundreds of schools, hospitals, roads and other public works American service members have built. It also does not reflect the fact that 14 of 18 Iraqi provinces are basically peaceful and its citizens know peace for the first time in nearly two generations. Further, the left media does not tell the American public the number of men, women and children who receive medical care (in the thousands) by American military and civilian medical personnel. The Iraqi public reports being healthier than ever due, in large part, to the benevolence of American military and civilian allied health personnel.
Knowing these and other things about the United States and Americans, I know what it is to be patriotic—To respect and defend free, responsible speech; To respect and defend responsible behavior; To respect and defend human rights; To respect, support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies foreign and domestic; To respect and defend every person’s rights to life, liberty and the respectful and responsible pursuit of happiness; To respect and defend Godly laws designed for the common good for all persons regardless of age, national origins, ethnic group, race, gender and of peaceful religious conviction; To be informed; To participate in the educational, political and social processes of the United States; To actively oppose licentiousness and discriminatory law which attempt to destroy truth, justice, liberty and freedom.
I know what price many have had to pay for the freedoms and liberties so many today flaunt and take for granted. For freedom has and never will be free. Each generation is called to sacrifice its time, talent, treasure and, increasingly, sacred honor and life that every American may be free. Those who believe otherwise will bargain these hard earned freedoms for despotism, terror and tyranny with the death of many!
For this patriot, the sight of the red, white and blue on the United States flag causes my heart to pound. The sounds of “God Bless America”, “The Star Spangled Banner’, “Stars And Stripes Forever” gets my blood pumping, brings chills up and down my spine and tears to my eyes! In spite of my mothers and fathers sufferings, they laid the foundations for me and my/their generations that follow to prosper in the greatest nation ever known!
With that said, I am angered by those who call themselves “patriots but fail to vote, fail to inform themselves regarding social and political issues, fail to question behaviors they know to be destructive and irresponsible, shirk their personal, familial and social responsibilities in lieu of hedonism and irresponsible behaviors.
I am incensed by the excuse “I’m just a little person”. There are no little people who are adults—just children. I have learned that there are people who do not want to be responsible for their lives, their liberties or be responsible for their happiness. They want to enjoy the fruits of this great republic but do not want to do the work required—They are the greedy who actively live off of or try to live off of the needy (the American taxpayer).
I am blessed to have been born in the United States where I may worship as I will, where I will, the freedom to disagree responsibly with my politicians and states-men/women or pastor, to pursue happiness responsibly and to serve all of my American brothers and sisters in the United States military. May God Bless every American and preserve our liberties and freedoms!
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I can't say enough AMENS! Wonderful "speach!" God bless your boldness and may He continue to give you more words to share. Lucy Cain