A young soldier and his platoon got pinned down in a rice paddy in Viet Nam. He was wounded twice, in the left shoulder and right leg. Unable to even crawl, he knew he was a goner. Then he saw his captain coming at him at a dead run. The captain didn’t even break his stride as he swooped up the young soldier and carried him to a safer location to await evac. That young captain returned to rescue more of his men, getting wounded more than once.
At a high school graduation ceremony this month, as “future plans” were announced and grads stood, a single young man stood indicating he was going into the armed services. That young man received a lengthy standing ovation from his fellow graduates, the administration, the teachers, and the entire audience that filled the football stadium.
Another young man attended the ceremony. A staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, in full dress uniform. He walked through the crowd after the ceremony; no one spoke to him, no one seemed to acknowledge his uniformed presence. One old man grabbed his arm and thanked him for his service and said “God bless you.”
“Thank you, sir” was his humble reply.
Three years ago, at the same location at another graduation ceremony, 12 or 15 young people stood indicating they were joining the armed services. They, too, received a standing ovation.
The American Spirit has suffered a deep wound, from which she may never recover. America is not some world “bully” that goes around invading countries, nor is America built on oppression and slavery.
America is the single beacon of Hope and Freedom in the world. That is, she was.
Of all the immediate needs that faces America today, perhaps the greatest is teaching our young people the truth that America was built to evade tyranny, that the Constitution was written by imperfect men who believed in a Perfect God and the Freedom He gives.
They also knew that Freedom would require, and does require, sacrifice.
“No greater love has anyone than this: To lay down their life for a friend.”