Honor Thy Soldier

Today of course is about remembering and honoring those that have served and died for our country.  It should be anyway, but I can’t help but feel something missing from all the tributes lighting up my social media feeds; moving platitudes written over photos of coffins draped with flags, spouses laying on graves, soldier dog tags dangling from head stones, oceans of white crosses.

I mean no disrespect, I know the posts are sincere and come from the heart and certainly make sense in today’s digital era.  For myself though I’m starting to see a troubling pattern.  Where after reading a post that moves me I will click the like button and feel a sense of accomplishment, as if by giving a thumbs up to something honoring our fallen military heroes somehow means that I’ve done just that, when I really haven’t thought much about them at all.

If honoring someone means showing  great respect towards them and holding in high esteem, than I would argue our fallen soldiers deserve some pondering of our own lives and whether they reflect the values those men and women died to protect.

It was in this frame of mine that I stumbled upon this thoughtful article by David French called The Patriotism of Deeds that really did cause me to stop and think.

I like what the author has to say here about whether we are living lives worthy of what our servicemen and women died for.

“It’s a sad fact of our modern times that our warring factions spend an enormous amount of time battling over whether the government is upholding its end of the social compact. We spend less time looking inward, pondering how we exercise our blood-bought freedoms. In other words, we debate whether our nation is worthy of our patriotism. We just assume we’re worthy patriots.”

Do we truly understand how free we are in this country to live and do as we please? That individual liberty isn’t just a nice sounding old-fashioned phrase, but central to our system of government, which brings immense opportunity for its people to not just live but to thrive and contribute to greatness?  That THIS is what those soldiers fought and died for?

Or would we rather complain about how rigged and rotten the “system” is and lead limited lives spent tearing each other down?  Sometimes I’m not so sure. We live in times of unprecedented freedom and opportunity, yet addiction levels are sky high, narcissism runs rampant, school shootings happen weekly, coarseness and rude behavior are the norm and people think nothing of demonizing one another over who that person voted for.

All symptoms of a sickness that I think French captures well here:

“But organizing a nation around liberty brings with it a hidden danger, the danger of indulgence — the danger that a nation that protects the rights of the individual will become individualistic. And that brings us to the second essential truth of the American Founding (and thus, of American patriotism). This one from Adams: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We should honor those men and women that gave to the ultimate sacrifice to their country by leading exemplary lives.  After all, theirs were cut short so we could do so.

To close with French’s words:

“In other words, the patriotic citizen understands that his liberty is governed and ordered by a higher purpose. We live not for ourselves. We are free, but we should view ourselves as free to pursue what is good and true, to live what is good and true.”

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19 Responses to Honor Thy Soldier

  1. sobering thoughts indeed Tricia—thank you for sharing and for making me stop to think…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Amen, Tricia. Also if we actually thought about what the sacrifices we honor today actually meant to those who really did it, and those they left behind, we might tone our hoorah, hoorah a bit and not be constantly saying let’s go kick butt. Just saying. Happy day, Tricia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dennis says:

    Great post Tricia (as always!).
    My feeling in regard to the main stream media is they have a guilty conscious after the treatment the military received during the 60’s, the Clinton and Obama administrations. A large majority of the really higher ups in the media today cut their teeth railing about Nam and how great Jane Fonda was. Remember when LBJ said “if I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the war”?

    Those young journalists followed Cronkite’s mantra of anti war and damn the military. Those young folks are in the positions of guiding the news and approving everything going over the airways. They are guilty of misreporting the the facts and now they are trying to ease their conscious in their twilight years. That is why we see so much fawning over the military and their loved ones.

    Those are my thoughts as I lived thru those years in uniform and was called names and spit at when out in the civilian world. Not a happy time but we swore an oath to defend the US so we put it behind us and carried on with our duty.

    Most servicemen just want to be given a fair deal not false praise in a sound bite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I’m so sorry you were treated that way Dennis, that’s utterly disgraceful. Thank you my friend for your service to this country and helping to keep us safe.

      Like

  4. Dennis says:

    No worries Tricia. Your worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tricia, well said. It gets me thinking, what should I do to protect and defend our liberty and freedom? It seems the message here is that I (and all of us) need to take that seriously.

    Thanks for the super insight.

    Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks Michael. I’ve been thinking about that too but more along the lines of am I leading a life worthy of the sacrifice our fallen soldiers did? Do I think of others in need and try help? Do I treat people I dislike with the respect and dignity all everyone deserve? Do I stand up for what’s right no matter the consequences? Not all the time by any means!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tricia, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tricia, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Great.

    Like

  8. Citizen Tom says:

    Good article you referenced and good points you make!

    Can we imagine being someone who has given his life for this country? If I we were that person, what would I think of the person I am now? Is Tom worthy of any sacrifice, much less the sacrifice of my life?

    If we don’t behave honorably, it is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to die for your sake.
    What makes Jesus’ sacrifice for us so amazing is that He died for us even though we are sinners, the way He died for us proving as much.

    The heroes we send to war are ordinary men. We should and can at least strive to live as honorably as they did.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Thoughts on culture, politics and more and commented:
    Here is a good word from Tricia.

    Liked by 1 person

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