Memorial Day - 2006
I for one do believe in the ideals of America: the freedoms, the democratic process, and all the other concepts that make our country so great. In the most ideal situations, I can walk the streets of the United States without having to answer to any authorities about where I am going or why. I don't have to worry that anything I say or write will be used against me as grounds for persecution, exile or death. I can feel secure that these ideals will keep me safe from enemies both within and outside our country's borders. "The most ideal situations" is the key phrase here. The last five years have not been the most ideal situation for our concepts of freedom.
Many of us do not separate the American ideals from the policies of the leadership that would be in power during any given time. Many Americans see this as one and the same. It is not one and the same. I believe it is possible to enjoy the freedoms offered by our country, and still criticize those leaders in power when I think they are doing something wrong. If the readers of my blog have not picked up on this recurring theme in my entries, then I am doing something wrong.
Our current leaders may call critics like myself unpatriotic or giving aid and comfort to the enemy. I know where my love of my country stands, and I know I am not aiding any enemy of our nation when I exercise my right to speak out. This exercise is one of those freedoms I mentioned earlier, and I will continue to use this right every chance I get.
So while I may disagree with the reasons why the serviceman and women currently serving our country are doing the jobs they are doing, I cannot disrespect their efforts or their sacrifices. I cannot hold these individuals in contempt or hatred because I know they believe in the same American ideals that I believe in. Many may not understand my logic separating the individual from the ideal, but I don't see a problem with that. The right to disagree is another freedom that the men and women in uniform stand up and fight for throughout the world. It their efforts result in their making the ultimate sacrifice, then we owe them our gratitude and our prayers on Memorial Days of the future.