. . . from a WWII Vet
Patriotism does not require that you do not use your own mind to think, even in the armed forces. Certainly, especially when you are being led into harm’s way, it is necessary for your leaders to do what they can to unite you, as a military unit, as an army, and as a nation. However, especially in this present world where information as far more readily available than it was in the past, it is best to consider that information which is available to you, regardless of source, military or civilian, through education or experience, and work it through your own mind and come up with your own conclusions.
Consider, for a moment, sayings which may or may not be true:
- Ours is the richest and greatest nation in the history of the world.
- “I’m a uniter, not a divider.”
- “You’re either with us or with the enemy.”
- If you do not support the war, that means you do not support the troops.
- If we cut and run, those who have given their lives will have died in vain.
- We believe in Democracy and the Constitution of the United States.
- We must stay the course for victory.
- Loyalty to our Commander in Chief is imperative.
- Many world leaders (Hitler, for example) commanded loyal troops and supporters but did or do not deserve their support.
- Victory is not deserved unless the cause is moral and noble.
- Deciding for another country what its government should be is not moral and only thoughtlessly noble – and very possibly done for self-aggrandizement.
- We need to fight the terrorists in Iraq so that we won’t have to fight them here.
- If the terrorists are still threatening us, we need to fight them in Denmark so we won’t have to fight them here.
If I give my life for another, it can be as a soldier in a foreign land or as an ordinary human being anywhere, it will be because of my moral values regardless of how I got into the situation and of my own volition, and I will not have died in vain.