On Sunday afternoon, the Packard Band will perform its first lawn concert of the season in conjunction with Memorial Day. If it's true to form, a tribute will be given to those who have served our country in the various branches of the military.
My heart never fails to be exhilarated with prideful emotion as I witness these veterans standing to the anthem representing their branch of service. It always makes me proud to be an American, and grateful to those, whether dead or alive, who fought for our freedom.
Especially, am I moved by the ''wounded warriors'' who have come through the recent Iraqi and Afghanistan fiasco; those who, despite the loss of limbs, etc., still have a positive attitude and love for America. Hats off to these heroes!
War is ''hell'' at any level, but has been a fact of history because of the ''war'' raging in human hearts. Does our country really have enemies who are out to destroy us? Was it our fault that we were attacked by Islamic terrorists on 9/11? Are we really the culprits? Is our American way of life a ''criminal offense?''
It certainly seems so, when listening to the liberal media and the White House propaganda.
One thing about the ol' time western movies was their promotion of justice. I loved Roy Rodgers and Gene Autry who always ''got their man.'' The story line was simple and the acting unsophisticated, even corny at times, but the difference between the ''good guys'' and the crooks was clear.
Today, the line of distinction between good and bad has been rubbed out. A grayish haze has replaced what used to be black and white. The absolutes are gone, and lawlessness has become the ''law.'' No one is responsible any more - he's either ''not guilty'' or ''mentally ill.'' Criminals are being ''treated'' rather than prosecuted. Like ''no fault'' insurance or divorce - no one is wrong.
Therefore, if right and wrong do not exist, there's nothing left to ''fight'' for. No wonder our president wants to ''dialogue'' with Iran and others who threaten our society. This attitude of compromise can only lead to a detente, with so-called ''peace" at the expense of truth and justice.
In a dangerous world with power-crazed dictators, strong military might serves as a deterrent to war. We are being led to the slaughter by those within our country who consider our free enterprise system a crime and an offense toward other nations.
Our old time individualism and hard work ethic, they say, has caused others to hate us. Thus, we should be ashamed of ourselves, and take from the ''haves'' and give to the ''have-nots.''
This socialistic mentality will supposedly produce a ''classless'' society, making all people equal. That's impossible, because each individual is unique. Equal opportunity does not ensure equal outcome. Therefore, the regime must discourage personal initiative and creativity, promoting dependency on government.
That's why our kids are being indoctrinated rather than educated. They must ''swallow'' leftist, socialistic propaganda, in lieu of being exposed to the genius of our founding fathers. The Judeo-Christian ethic is now being replaced by the religion of secular humanism; i.e. man is his own god.
The Berlin Wall came down under President Reagan's watch, denouncing communism and freeing the ''slaves'' of tyranny. Now the same seeds of godless, socialistic tyranny are growing throughout our land. Who is going to rescue us from this insidious malady? Is there not a cause?
The foreign threat of terrorism looms over our heads daily, when actually the worst foe may be within. Pogo said it well: ''We have met the enemy and he is us.'' Either way, we are in a battle that cannot be denied or ignored. On this Memorial Day, let us not forget the ideals for which our veterans have given their lives. Thankfully, there is still a cause.
Finnigan is a Howland resident.