"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
Today is Veterans Day. We encourage our readers to set aside time for remembrance of American veterans. In the absence of their sacrifice, the freedom to engage in the current debate about our nation's future would not exist.
On November 11th, 1921, an unknown American soldier from World War I was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition of WWI veterans and in conjunction with the timing of cessation of hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). President Warren Harding requested that: "All...citizens...indulge in a period of silent thanks to God for these... valorous lives and of supplication for His Divine mercy...on our beloved country." Inscribed on the Tomb are the words: "Here lies in honored glory an American soldier known but to God." The day became known as "Armistice Day." In 1954, Congress, wanting to recognize the sacrifice of veterans since WWI, proposed to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in their honor. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander in WWII, signed the legislation.
To honor those veterans who sacrificed all, an Army honor guard from the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) keeps day and night vigil at Arlington. At 11 a.m. today, a combined color guard representing all military service branches executes "Present Arms" at the tomb for the laying of a wreath by the president. This is followed by "Taps."
The Defense Department has totaled one measure of the price of liberty -- almost 1.2 million members of our fighting forces have died while in service to our country since the American Revolution; 1.4 million have been wounded. The numbers, of course, offer no reckoning of the inestimable value of these individual citizens' lives, and the sacrifices borne by their families. But we do know their sacrifices defended a precious gift handed down to us -- the liberties we cherish. Every day -- but today especially -- let us always hold our veterans and their families in our hearts.
"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." --George Washington
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." --John F. Kennedy
"No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." --Calvin Coolidge
"Honor to the soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause." --Abraham Lincoln
"...[L]et us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain. --Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!" --John Paul Jones
"The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." --Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson
"So, as you go into battle, remember your ancestors and remember your descendants." --Tacitus
"Breathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land!" --Walter Scott
"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle." --George William Curtis
"There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create." --Charles Baudelaire
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many, to so few." --Winston Churchill
"There never was a good war, or a bad peace." --Benjamin Franklin
"That is not to say that we can relax our readiness to defend ourselves. Our armament must be adequate to the needs, but our faith is not primarily in these machines of defense but in ourselves." --Admiral Chester Nimitz
"There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has now come." --Peter Muhlenberg
"Consider those who grew up in the days of horses and buggies and lived to see men walk on the moon. They witnessed miracles of medicine and technology and services unimaginable 100 years ago, let alone during the previous thousands of years of human history. With every advance comes responsibility and accountability. If ever one needs proof consider the atomic era. Vigilance is still the price of liberty, and it comes down to ages-old criteria: good versus evil, people doing the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. ...[B]ase and remorseless inhumanity ultimately depends on great and small decisions by people -- and the governments they control or seek to dominate. Don't be fooled by reports of governments or institutional religion doing something. It starts and ends with individuals and the will of vigilant and free people -- one day at a time, one individual soul at a time. This is the authority of America -- the will of her united people exercised through individual liberties. Bush has invoked this spirit but found it resisted by the polyglot United Nations. Only here in America is it E pluribus unum. Terrorists may prey on us all, but only the morally weak will tolerate it. ...We must be accountable and responsible to our children as surely as our forebears were when they built this magnificent country." --Paul M. Rodriguez
"Veterans Day is always a solemn occasion to reflect on and to show our gratitude for those who have fought to preserve the freedoms all Americans enjoy today. This day was established after World War I to pay tribute to those who served in that Great War. In 1954, the day's significance was expanded to honor all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen, and merchant marines who have worn our nation's uniform. By pausing to remember, we recognize the many diverse and difficult circumstances that our veterans have faced. However, no matter what the time or the uniform, they are united by the same ideals: life and liberty, peace and prosperity, service and sacrifice. Today we find ourselves in the midst of a nontraditional war against a very elusive enemy. Like those before us, we serve in demanding conditions, and our mission -- like theirs -- requires courage, vision and selflessness. Today's men and women in uniform seek to build upon the strong foundation laid by America's veterans. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and I join all Americans in paying tribute to our veterans. They have created a legacy that all of us in uniform strive to uphold. May God continue to bless America, and the veterans who so valiantly served her." --Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"One vote can mean freedom at the expense of security; the opposite vote can mean security at the expense of freedom. One vote can be for big government and high taxes; another for small government and lower taxes. To vote without knowing what the person you are voting for stands for is, to say the least, stupid. To vote on an issue without understanding how that issue, were it to become law, would affect you or, indeed, your city, your state or the country is equally stupid." --Lyn Nofziger
"Free people must voluntarily through open debate and democratic means, meet the challenge that totalitarians pose by compulsion. It's up to us, in our time, to choose and choose wisely between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day." --Ronald Reagan (1983)
OPINION IN BRIEF
"Well, increasingly I can't help but think that the liberals of Europe and the Leftists of America (there's still hope for our liberals) have lost the energy and the conviction to defend themselves. They cannot grasp that our enemies -- especially those hailing from the Third World -- cannot be reasoned with. It doesn't matter if we wronged them in the past. It doesn't matter if their historical grievances have weight. What matters, as a matter of pure survival and morality, is what they believe today and what they do because of those beliefs." --Jonah Goldberg
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
--John McCrea, "In Flanders Fields"
"The policies of the American government, designed by politicians and bureaucrats, are not always synonymous with American ideals. The country is not the same as the government. The spirit of America is hardly something for which government holds a monopoly on defining." --Ron Paul
RE: THE LEFT
"Today's Democrats are little more than a collection of narrow interest groups -- unions, tort lawyers, minorities headed by an ossified leadership. They are clever, tenacious and increasingly nasty in defending their perks, as establishments typically are when they're being displaced by upstarts. So Democrats desperately scratch to hold power by their fingernails." --Robert Bartley
"We do not need liberal judges or conservative judges. We need judges who follow the laws and the Constitution. And we need to get such judges confirmed by the Senate, without ideological litmus tests based on abortion or any other political issue. This is one of those islands that cannot be by-passed if we want to preserve the right of Americans to govern themselves. Above all, we need to survive, because no other rights mean anything if we don't survive. It is a tragic farce that we are waiting to see what the United Nations has to say about our need to stop Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. That is another island that has to be taken, regardless of what some free-loading windbags and petty despots say at the UN. The Republicans have just hit a triple. The question is whether they will score or die on third." --Thomas Sowell
FOR THE RECORD
"In races for the U.S. House, Americans voted for Republicans by a margin of 53% - 47%. Republican candidates -- promising to support the President -- received 4.3 MILLION more votes than their Democratic opponents. This WAS a mandate on the Presidency of George W. Bush. It was the first time since September 11, 2001 that the American people have gotten the chance to tell President Bush what they think of the way he has handled their lives and their future." --Rich Galen
THE LAST WORD
"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
"It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
"It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
"It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
--Charles M. Province