The best offense is a good defense.

veteran's day

What is true in football is also true in the military:

a strong defense tells everyone,

“Imagine what our offense looks like.”

It should come as no surprise that the United States Navy, for instance, functions as an emissary of American strength. Projecting American power throughout the world on the seas sends a message. Battleships docking in foreign ports is a signal of strength.

But America could have a problem if American students are not taught American history. Why would future generations defend the country if they don’t know why they should?

Education of our country’s principles is America’s best defense.declaration-of-independence

Anthony Esolen asks a similar question. Esolen believes that the great epics create a desire to defend one’s way of life. So he wonders

For what will you die? For what will you stand as a witness, staking all you have and are, even your sacred honor, as the signers of the Declaration of Independence did, in what was no rhetorical flourish, as the chestless among us believe? [1]

RonaldReaganPresident Ronald Reagan said it best:

“Freedom is the very essence of our nation . . . Never give up the fight for freedom –a fight which, though it may never end, is the most ennobling known to man.” 

Hollywood tends to diminish the need for national defense, the need to honor our country. Movies like The Purge teach a good thing (we become what we hate) by denigrating the very ideals of society we prize (national safety and security). Security companies and weapons manufacturers are seen as the real enemy (as they are in White House Down) and America is no longer worth our praise. At the end of The Purge, as the credits roll, we hear the point of the tale, “I was a proud American. Not any more. This country has taken everything from me.”

But Mel Gibson’s Braveheart speech still sets America’s real life backbone:braveheart

I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? . . . Dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!!! 

When I was a boy I loved exploring my gramma’s attic. It was there that I found a World War II scrap book full of military clippings from the local paper. I realized early, that there were many who had given the ultimate sacrifice so that I could live free. A nation’s defense is the ultimate security for freedom.

I, like many Americans, am grateful again on this holiday for the defense of our nation by the greatest military on earth.

Mark hopes everyone will find a veteran’s hand to shake today.  Thank our military for our freedom.

[1] Anthony Esolen, “A Divine Gift of the Muses: The Great Epics Are Theological & Mark the Hard Path to Beatitude” Nov/Dec Touchstone p 32

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One comment

  1. Salute! Every once in a while there is a bright moment of encouragement. A young man named Ian, I met at a wedding this weekend. He told me to read the speeches of Coolidge. Evidently Calvin was Reagan’s favorite president to study. Ian defends our constitution and freedom by sharing his love of history and his dedication to the ideals of a free society.

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