Monday, April 19, 2010

"If they mean to have war, let it begin here!" Captain John Parker, 19 April 1775

Today, April 19th, two states in the Union celebrate an event history records as the defining event that triggered the American Revolution. It's both curious and sad that an event as monumental as this would not be nationally recognized. Whatever our disagreements, failings or differences, the reality is that we would not be having any discussion about anything related to our founding, principles, pluralism, governance or religious ideology had not a few brave men faced a numerically superior and far better trained force that day. We would not be discussing current events as we see them had not these few men on a small patch of green in Lexington Massachusetts determined to stand against the tyranny of their government, 235 years ago today. We would never have become the beacon of hope for so many immigrants from so many diverse cultures. We would not have become one of the most powerful and most enduring cultural entities in modern history.

As is typically the case, the few provided for the many. They provided hope for their progeny, hope for a future in the midst of tyranny. It has been estimated that a meager three percent of the colonial population at the time actively participated in the armed struggle that eventually allowed us to stand as a nation and determine our own destiny. Three percent. Many things haven't changed. Approximately one percent of the population today, is actively engaged in the pursuit of our enemies. I truly believe a smaller percentage is fully engaged in the process of self-education on the specifics of the war we are currently engaged in. These men are unique in that in the willing carrying out of their oaths, they place their lives at risk. Willingly following the orders of the Officers appointed over them by the President of the United States and the Elected Representatives in federal office has the effect of relinquishing control of their lives and giving it to others. How many of you reading this can say you have ever done that?

There are 435 members of Congress and 100 Senators. One President and one Vice President. All others in federal offices serve 'at the pleasure of the President of the United States'; meaning they are appointees, or are appointed by Congress or hired. Effectively; the very survival of this nation, the vision and scope of it's wars, the stratagem employed to fight those wars, the conditions under which our fighting men must perform, the likelihood of success and the determination to succeed all emanates from the hearts of 537 men and women. If they are 'virtuous' and have the best for this country at heart as in keeping with our founding documents; our men and women in uniform have the best chance of success on the ground. If their hearts are corrupt in any way, it is our men and women in uniform and on the ground that pay the heavy cost of the shedding of their blood for a corruptly prosecuted cause.

The future of an entire nation and it's 300 million citizens rests on the hope that 537 men and women will act in the best interests of a nation and not their own corrupt self interests. It rests on the knowledge - or lack of knowledge these 537 men and women have and are willing to increase. It rests on the vigilance of the 300 million citizens who placed them there and their willingness to hold the 537 elected representatives accountable. It rests on the knowledge that there is right and wrong - not gray area or half-truths and that doing what is right is always correct and always costly. It rests in the knowledge that we have placed some in harm's way who are relying on our willingness to do what is right and not what is politically expedient. It rests on a nation recognizing it's divine genesis and it's willingness to turn back to that which gave it birth: 'If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.' 2 Chronicles 7:14

On April 19th, 1775, approximately 200 Massachusetts Militiamen took to a small town square and faced as many as 1000 highly trained sovereign British soldiers. Some died that day, others lived to fight and die later in the war. They paved the way for our founders to secure for their future generations that which they believed God had intended for all of his created men and women.

What have these sitting 537 (save 22 who have worn a uniform) done to further that cause? What personal price have they paid? What cost are they demanding of others that they were unwilling to pay themselves? When will they show a modicum of interest in the perils our men and women face every day? When will the lives of our men and women in harm's way trump the pursuit of misguided social programs? When will they care enough to ask if the strategy President Obama, Sec Def Gates, General Petraeus, and General McChrystal has any hope of success, provides our Warriors a prospect of victory, and is right for America; the America envisioned by those 77 (correction jjb) that day on Lexington Green:

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

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