THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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An Extraordinary Speech

American Thinker: An Extraordinary Speech.

Kellylow One of the worst things for me about Britain today is the prevalence of casual anti-Americanism. The linked article should give those prone to that some cause for overdue thought. It cites a wonderful speech given on November 13th by Lieutenant General John F. Kelly of the United States Marine Corps. I recommend you to read it in full on his official blog. It is all the more remarkable for having been made just four days after General Kelly lost his son Robert in action in Afghanistan. Paying tribute to the men and women of his country's armed forces with a dignity that must seem very alien to "educated" British citizens who don't know what the Cenotaph means, he reminded his audience why America goes to war;

...ladies and gentlemen, think about this, the only territory we as a people have ever asked for from any nation we have fought alongside, or against, since our founding, the entire extent of our overseas empire, is a few hundred acres of land for the 24 American cemeteries scattered around the globe...

The remains of 220,000 Americans rest in those cemeteries. Not all the wars they fought in were right. Some terrible actions took place in fighting them. But as a nation, America's heart has always been in the right place. Taking all her actions - good and bad - into account, Mankind as a whole has never known a better friend.

For a man who has just lost his son to make such a speech is deeply impressive. As we mewl and whimper about our petty problems (e.g. the refusal of others to pick up the bill for our reality breaks in academia) perhaps we should reflect on his words;

...America as a whole is certainly not at war. Not as a country. Not as a people. Today, only a tiny fraction - less than a percent - shoulder the burden of fear and sacrifice, and they shoulder it for the rest of us. Their sons and daughters who serve are men and women of character who continue to believe in this country enough to put life and limb on the line without qualification, and without thought of personal gain, and they serve so that the sons and daughters of the other 99% don't have to. No big deal, though, as Marines have always been "the first to fight" paying in full the bill that comes with being free...for everyone else...

I disagree with only three of General Kelly's words; "No big deal." It's a very big deal, sir. I offer my thanks, my condolences and my profound respect.