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The meek do not inherit the earth

The United States is and always has been a warrior nation. We kicked out the British and gained our independence.

When the British came back a quarter century later, we kicked them out again. And that’s a good thing. In this world, there are the conquerors and the vanquished. We kicked Mexico out of California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. We roughed up Spain, just for practice. We destroyed Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and then destroyed Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito 25 years later. We fought the Korean War to a standstill, had our confidence shaken in Vietnam, and have killed Muslim terrorists by the thousands.

The Soviet Union no longer exists.

Americans are the biggest military power on earth and that’s a good thing. Because if we aren’t, somebody else will be. Pax Americana. The idea of one strong military power that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place than it would otherwise be.

A lot of people nowadays reject that kind of talk. Why can’t be all just get along, they ask. The answer is, because we can’t. It’s not in our nature. Since the first caveman picked up a club and smashed it over the head of his enemy, human beings have been at war – in big ways as well as small.

That great progressive president Teddy Roosevelt famously said: Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The only thing that has changed over the years is that the stick keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Which takes us to Memorial Day 2018 – Monday, May 28 – the day we honor our fallen heroes. These are the folks who picked up a gun or climbed into a fighter jet or drove armored vehicles down highways infested by would-be ambushers. They fought their way across the Pacific, landed on the beaches at Normandy, held off the Germans at Belleau Wood, stormed San Juan Hill in Cuba, and fought one another in the bloodiest wars in our history.

Like Pax Romana and Pax Britannica, we understand that Pax Americana will not last forever. But that hardly means we should shrug our shoulders and walk away today. If America is not the dominant power in the world, some other country will attempt to be.

We are a warrior nation. We have always been a warrior nation. Once we give up that role, we become much like Europe – a shadow of what once was. So on Monday, we honor the warriors. They are the men and women who stand between us and those who would do us harm. You don’t have to march in a parade or sit through a speech to honor what they did.

Just enjoy the American life you have and remember the people who made it possible.

George Lee Cunningham

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