Memorial Day reflections

As with past Memorial Day celebrations, patriotism and love of country were foremost in my mind. While participating in Lake Bluff's Memorial Day celebration held on its Village Green, tears welled up in my eyes as I listened to numerous speakers, heard stirring patriotic music played by the local high school band, and observed the precision of an Honor Guard contingent dispatched from Great Lakes Naval Base located a few short miles north of my home in Lake Bluff. My tears flowed for those who are unable to recognize the greatness of America, what it stands for, or the sacrifices made by countless numbers of Americans who, over 230 years of our nation's history, made the ultimate sacrifice to protect this nation from harm so "We the People" can continue to enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted.

Remaining teary-eyed, I reflected back to the happenings of this past week. After all the posturing by Democrats in Congress over Iraq war funding, the bill passed with wide margins in both houses of Congress. There was, however, a feeling of sadness when I remembered that only one of the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates serving in the Senate--Senator Joe Biden--voted in favor the bill. Do Hillary and Obama not realize that losing in Iraq would give the Islamic terrorists what they want, both a victory and a place to plan and stage further world-wide terrorist acts? Do they understand that they voted to strand American GIs' in the field without supplies or reinforcements? It is well documented that both Iran and Syria are fueling insurgent terrorist groups in Iraq. Furthermore, groups such as al-Qaeda and their sponsors are politically savvy. They understand the American people, and they view us as impulsive, impatient, and skittish. They know if they only kill enough troops and set off enough bombs, the American people will cave in and demand withdrawal.

On war-related issues, past history has shown that public opinion is often flawed. Leaders who go against public sentiment are often vilified. But again history comes to the rescue. Leaders who have had the courage to go against the tide often emerge as heroes in later years (i.g., Lincoln, Churchill, Truman and Reagan). Accordingly, pulling out of Iraq might sound good in the here and now, but the march of time might tell a different story of a war that should have and could have been won if politics had not reared its ugly head.

Does the Democratic Party really wish to promote itself as being weak on national defense at a time when America and all of Western civilization is facing threats from Islamic radicals who have repeatedly pronounced death to America and Israel? I would hope that the American people are not quitters. Have Americans forgotten that it took ten years for this nation to go from a constitution to a full-fledged democracy? It is time for the American people to unite and to fight for a common cause, the defeat of radical militant Islam so liberty and freedom can be preserved for future generations.

Nancy J. Thorner

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