As Memorial Day weekend began, President Obama delivered a pious anti-war speech in Hiroshima highlighting "humanity's core contradiction" of war---lamenting that "humanity tried to justify war because of religion."
While the president blamed "religious zeal" and "nationalistic fervor" for war and the "bomb" that ended World War II, tens of millions of Americans will remember and honor those who have fought (and dropped bombs) not because of "nationalistic fervor" or "religious zeal," but out of a profound love of this country, and an abiding believe that our freedoms are given by God and to be protected by our government.
Our president told the crowd at Hiroshima and the international press, "How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers that have claimed their faith was a license to kill."
He blamed "religious zeal" or "nationalistic fervor" for inspiring humankind to war throughout history, but urged the world to seek a future of peace.
Who is this man?
President Obama did not explicitly apologize for America using the nuclear bomb to end World War II, but painted a vivid scene of the bomb that destroyed the city.
Our president said, "Death fell from the sky and the world was changed," as he dramatically pointed to the "Wall of Fire"---America's president told the people, "Their souls speak to us, they ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become."
He said we have learned that "mankind possessed the means to destroy itself."
He urged the world to "rediscover their common humanity and extend peace to the entire world."
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton says the president's words were inappropriate, and it's "inappropriate for a president to declare his visit was meant to honor Imperial Japan's war dead, as well as the Allied soldiers who died defeating the axis."
Bolton said, "I think the president's other remarks, where he said the 'scientific revolution' that brought us the splitting of the atom should have brought us a 'moral revolution' as well, is a not-to-thinly veiled attack on Harry Truman, whose morals didn't quite make it up to Barack Obama's high standards."
And he said, make no mistake, "Obama's speech is the next stage, maybe the last act, of his apology tour," noting that the president's words and the mainstream media failed to mention why the United States took action against Imperial Japan.
Bolton said of the president, "He lives in an ideological world that has little or nothing to do with American reality."
Speaking of American reality, did you hear about the picture taken of Alix Idrache, born in Haiti, now standing proudly in full dress about to graduate from West Point...with a tear slowly making its way down the side of his face?
He says he was overwhelmed at the moment. Coming from Haiti, he never dreamed he would have the honor to serve the United States of America. He said being able to serve our nation was his highest honor, thanking America for the opportunity.
That's American reality.
Another touching story this Memorial Day is a letter from a father to his 2 sons.
The letter begins with the father telling his sons, "I have an important message to share with you---one that involves an important American holiday and why we, of Vietnamese heritage, should be especially thankful for the military men and women who made it possible for us to enjoy this holiday every year."
"I speak of Memorial Day, which to you may just mean the official beginning of summer...My hope is that as I share its importance, you will come to appreciate it in the same way I do."
The letter concludes with the Vietnamese father telling his 2 sons, "This Memorial Day let our family reflect on the sacrifices of the veterans of previous war eras and be mindful of how blessed we are to be part of this giving nation."
It is a moving and touching account of what Bolton called "American reality."
Many of our nation's presidents have also understood and embraced the "American reality."
One of them, Ronald Reagan, at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 1982, offered these words to our nation:
"I have no illusions about what little effect I can now add to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who in return loved their countrymen enough to die for them. Yet, we must try to honor them not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice."
He continued, ending with this
"As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered as long as God gives life to this nation...I can't claim to know the words of all national anthems in the world, but I don't know one that ends with a question and a challenge as our does: O! Saydoes that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, O're the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
"That," President Reagan said, "is what we must all ask."
Have a wonderful Memorial Day.
God bless America, and deliver us from evil.