Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Holiday

From three years ago. How the world has changed. New challenges, convenient for some, who would forget previous victories. Now it is the time of the talkers. And who's to say it's wrong? Talk is not cheap after all, it's expensive, so it must be valuable.


For a hundred fifty years the American colonists had crafted their own new society. It derived its institutions from England, but the span of the Atlantic might as well have reached to the moon, for remoteness. When new settlers arrived, they found a land that mirrored more Shakespeare’s vision than Parliament’s -- a brave new world, full of space and possibility. It took some time, as much for the newly arrived as for the native born, but the old loyalties grew dim, like some pagan devotion to a rotting totem. It hardly seemed real, or worth attending to.

So when the stamp taxes introduced a level of bureaucracy and expense heretofore unknown, the insult was egregious, and a decade was all it took to transform a bucolic if rambunctious hinterland into the frontline of war. Alas, the crown could not afford to be distracted from so much more pressing matters on the Continent -- the real continent. The expense, the inconvenience, and the shrill voices of dissent even in England all worked to damp the resolve of the Old and encourage the cause of the New World. Thus, more by default than by victory, a United States was born.

Now we are the empire -- the only empire the world has even known that has never had colonies. We have so far preserved the spirit of our founding, of liberty and opportunity. We have been the promised city on a hill, the light of which illuminates the world. We have exercised a suzerainty over various lands, but the relationship has been mutually beneficial. The Philippines, and Cuba, and Hawaii and Puerto Rico -- they have opted for closer or less intimate involvement, and have left or stayed with a blessing. More, we have stood up and stepped forward to protect the survival of human decency whenever the challenge has made it necessary. The century of blood in which we all were born is passed, and we will not fear the pain that lies ahead, having learned the lessons of sacrifice from our parents and grandparents.

If we are soft now, as so many of us are, this does not mean we will forever fail to find within ourselves the iron of resolve that approaching terror requires of us. Or if we waiver and find that our resolution seems only the courage of a fleeting moment, we will not despair when reminded that we are only men, who vacillate in their hearts -- we are not judged for the secrets of our hearts. We will be afraid, then, and still do what is right. To be weak, to be afraid, and still to rise to face a hard and terrible future -- well, this is what every generation is met with. Some generations put themselves to shame. Some will be praised as long as song and memory remain.

Odd, isn’t it, how the Greatest Generation was parent to the least, the smallest, the Worst Generation -- my own. But genetics is a complicated thing, and sometimes heroism skips a generation. And always within the gene pool we will find those traits that make humanity noble. So mine is the Carter-clinton generation. My son’s, I think, I hope, is the Reagan-Bush generation. We shall see.

There has always been the spirit in America of self-seeking, of materialism, of willfulness and license. No embarrassment is found in this, because when there was the need, greatness somehow appeared. Think of it, then, as fertilizer.

The 4th of July is our national holiday. It commemorates war. A few minutes ago I heard the warlike thrumming of fireworks -- the bombs bursting in air -- that are so much more than a pleasing spectacle for the young at heart. In other parts of the world, even at this very moment, explosions sounding very much like these are heard, accompanied by cries of pain, and death. The lesson we must remember to teach our children is that the 4th of July has meaning because men died for what it represents. Men are dying still, for what it represents. The fact that those who are gaining the blessings of liberty speak an alien tongue, and worship an alien god -- this fact will not stay our hand. We fight, when we do, for the liberty not just of ourselves but of all men. From this fact I find two lessons: first, we must fight; second, God bless America.



delftsman3 said...

Wow. Jack, that was so much better than what I put up for the 4th.

I hope your correct, and that our newest generation will step up to the plate and bat it out of the ballpark when it comes their time to be tested, and that time WILL inevitably come.

Sometimes I fear about that, seeing the indoctrination that passes for education in our schools these days, and the continued re-election of polititians that seem to stand more for themselves, or their party, than for the nation as a whole.

But to see such clearheaded thinking coming from LaLa Land gives me renewed hope that that is a temporary abberation.

Jack H said...

It's always been that way, on a sliding scale of degeneration. Indoctrination and cowardly pols - but I'm being redundant - are no new thing. What you can't re-educate is human nature. We take on the foolish conceits and affectations of the big city for a time. Then we get mugged and grow up. We've been mugged by reality, and however unpopular George Bush is - because of illegal immigration - the barking moonbats will never grow to be more than about 10% of the population. Hurrah!


Will C. said...

Brilliant as usual Jack! I just caught up on your latest. Forgive me for being absentia for 2 whole days.

And whats with this fj guy. I checked out his site. It seems like his head is in the right place but not sure about his heart.
I liked the Teddy R. quote but the Nietzsche Channel threw me I guess.

Jack H said...

Thank you kindly. Et, ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis.