Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Ben Stein and I Agree on Gratitude

The American Spectator

And I thought, "America, America, God shed His grace on thee." And then I thought of something else. None of this, absolutely none of it, would be there without the men and women of our armed forces. Every bit of what we have by virtue of being a free and prosperous nation, every ability to buy whatever book we want at Dutton's, every ability we have to come here from foreign lands and escape oppression, every speck of a chance we have to make it and become prosperous enough to have foot massages -- all of this is behind the shield of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Reserves.

Ben Stein on our nation's bounty, which only exists under the protection our our armed services. I had an interesting thought when I watched "A Few Good Men" over the holidays. Hollywood probably thought they were slamming the Marine Corps with the speech Jack Nicholson gives as Col. Nathan R. Jessep at the end of the movie. I suggest they wanted it to be a breakdown like Humphrey Bogart portrayed in "The Caine Mutiny". They missed.

Every time I hear the following ...

(from IMDB.com): "Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

... it reminds me to give thanks for those who protect my sorry ass by being on the walls each day. God Bless America and her Armed Forces.


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