When I was a lad, I was always told to mind my own business and not get “involved”. I was also told to never air my dirty laundry. I never quite understood that but my parents were who they were so I didn’t question them as to what they meant.
At the same time, I was told to always fight for what I knew in my heart was right and, if proven to be wrong, readily and freely admit the error and seek forgiveness. As I got older, the not getting involved thing didn’t jive with the fight for what was right. I began to ask questions.
I was told that times are achangin’ but we had no avenue to effect “change” so we can only hope that this too shall pass. So, I continued to monitor world events and my teachers in schools frowned upon my questions and openly stated that I just didn’t get it. I got it. They just didn’t want anyone to know that I got it.
When the “radicals” broke into our schools, stole the American Flags from the classrooms and burned them, I did nothing. It didn’t affect me – or so I thought.
When we were told that we could no longer pray in school or say the Pledge of Allegiance or bring our Bibles to school, I did nothing because they didn’t know if I was praying or not. They also didn’t know that I recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, in silence. They also didn’t know that I read my Bible every morning before school and again after school.
When we were told that women could murder their babies indiscriminately, I did nothing because I was already born and at the time, sired no children. It didn’t affect me.
When I was told that we had to make reparations to others, I did nothing because I didn’t owe anybody anything.
When I was told that I had to be careful with what I said because others could be offended by my words, I did nothing because, well, I didn’t want to offend anyone.
When I was told not to worry about if another offended me with their words because we owed them for others offending them in the past, I did nothing because I was told to not get involved. This too, shall pass.
When I was told to stand down and not face down those that would demean and bemoan our Troops fighting in Vietnam – I rebelled. When my brother was KIA in NE South Vietnam, my boiling point spilled over. I could no longer be silent and I could no longer go along to get along.
Later on in life, as I traveled the globe in the service of my Nation and studied the cultures of the Nations I was sent to and compared theirs to ours, my silence could no longer be contained.
As I studied their “constitutions” and compared theirs to ours, I realized how blessed America had once been. I also soon realised what a travesty had been wrought upon our great Nation. And, I could no longer be silenced. Many men tried to silence me and many men failed. As a matter of fact, all of them failed.
All through my younger years I kept near and dear to my heart the poem by Martin Niemöller:
The Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
Then they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
Then they came for the trade unionists, I did not protest; I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
The translation lost a little from the German language to the English language.
Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich nicht protestiert; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.
Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.
To this day, there are men and women trying to shut me up. They. Will. Fail.
To this day, there are people in our Nation that desire for my constitutional rights as a Free Man to set aside my Free Speech all for the better good. I ask the question, “What better good is that?”. I receive no answers just close-minded bigotry claiming that I, somehow, am a racist. I’ll never understand that.
I ask those that seek power to reconcile their policies and beliefs with our Constitution and I get no viable response. I do receive the vitriolic nonsense of racist, fascist, bigot, hate monger but I never get an answer as to how what they want to achieve in this Free Nation, the Beacon of Freedom (once called) is supported by the United States Constitution.
I am no longer silent and haven’t been for decades nor shall I be silenced. I will merely get louder. I will become more squeakier than the current squeaky wheelers and I will grow my numbers.
I am a combat veteran. That is in no manner implying that a non-combat veteran is of lower stature than I. I am merely stating a fact. I have smelled the smells and heard the screams of the wounded and dying – of all races and nationalities I encountered. I go to sleep in the silence of my own hell and smell the smells and hear the screams of battle. I wake up in the silence of my own hell and smell the smells and hear the screams of battle. I shall not be silenced, not for myself, but for the fallen, those that have served, those that are serving and those that will be serving. I fight for that which I know in my heart is right so I will not fall for and support that which I know in my heart is wrong.
Sic vis pacem para bellum
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum
(If you want peace, prepare for war.)
Sic Semper Tyrannis!
Death to Tyrants
“Be still and know that I am God: …” Psalm 46:10