This week I shook hands with greatness as I attended the dedication of the Doolittle Raiders museum at the Northwest Florida College Arena. These 4 brave men, were all that was left of 80 brave Americans that breathed hope into a nation by their valiant raid on Tokyo 71 years ago. It was somber for me as this would be the last reunion for the Doolittle raiders as there are only 4 remaining. We are not holding on to the lessons from past generations that made us great and with the passing of these men we lose more than heroes. With a sad but grateful heart I thanked them because these Americans represented what made America great. It was a moment where you know you have been in the presence of greatness and heroes.
They exemplified Duty, Honor and Country. They put everything before themselves and ask no honor or recognition for doing their job. They would selflessly and willing sacrifice their lives on a mission for people they would never see, or meet, but for a nation and concept that they held dear, Liberty and Freedom. The Tokyo mission was one none thought they would return from, yet they eagerly went. They were men interested in leading and doing what was right as opposed to building a legacy. They knew by leading with honor it creates a legacy. Lt Col Cole got up to speak and said “The most important part of the legacy we leave is what we do today.” and then he turned to honor scholarship recipients taking the focus off himself. This generation was all about serving others, verses pounding their own chest. Humility, service, and honor carved a legacy of greatness for these men. There still exist small pockets of people of their caliber today, but as the exception. Instead today we have traded that humility and desire to serve others for laziness and entitlement. The times have changed; today Patriots are demonized by our own Department of Homeland Security. The Raiders would be considered radicals or extremists because of their love for country and the Constitution that governs it. They served in a day when anyone who inflicted harm upon the American citizen could expect swift retaliation. Contrast that with today where we hedge on calling a terrorist a terrorist because we don’t want to offend. The Leaders of our nation today lack the resolve of FDR that sent a swift suicide mission into the heart of Japan to strike back and let them know they were vulnerable to a sneak attack as well and that we were coming. FDR’s response was clear, don’t mess with us. Black Jack Pershing had the right idea on how to deal with terrorist, a quick trial, after finding them guilty, have them dig the mass grave, and execute the offenders in such way they want no more. And it worked. Contrast that with Benghazi, which occurred 7 months ago, with no retaliation on the muslim brotherhood or al qaida on the horizon as the government continues to hide the truth and pacify the muslim world. This is only seen as a sign of weakness by the muslim extremeists and an invitation to bring more to our shores. In the real world of dealing with people “you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish.” Our inaction with muslim exteremist encourages them. They will continue to exploit our weakness and lack of resolve until we get tough. Fast forward to this week in Massachusetts, the home of the American Revolution, where terrorist once again attacked. As the Boston marathon was ending on “Patriots day” the new revolution continued as the enemy we have pacified unleashed weapons that did not malfunction this time. The presidents’ claim that terrorist and al Qaida are gone is rebuffed again. Benghazi and this attack prove that our new enemy does not wear red coats, and unlike the British who became our nation’s best ally, the new enemy does not want to be our ally or friends but our ruler. The president missed an opportunity to lead again as he is more interested in his anti-gun crusade. Liberals in the media and public service quickly tried to find blame with an American, homegrown white conservative or Republican policy before any facts came in rather than go after a foreign enemy they encourage. Democratic house members, not wanting a good crisis to go to waste, made comments that confirm that they are no longer public servants interested in the good of all Americans but rather self serving senile old men who need to be voted out. The lack of leadership in DC is making us pay dearly and their desire to be politicians versus statesman will continue to invite future attacks by foreign terrorists.
As we lose the greatest generation, law abiding citizens are now viewed by our government as “religious extremists”. Conservative Tea Party Patriots are listed as potential domestic terrorist and islamo facists are viewed as friends. The weather underground domestic terrorists occupy Wall Street and union violence is considered ok but grass roots peaceful protests from conservatives and tea party members are considered a threat and the real radicals that have blown up bombs and killed policeman in our nation are now held in high esteem by our Universities and being given jobs as college professors.
Sadly the Doolittle raiders would probably be considered extremists today, as they loved their country, and humbly served not for recognition but because it was the honorable thing to do. As our politicians continue to lose their honor and worry about themselves and their legacies, it is time to raise up some new statesman who will do what is right, give the international bullies a bloody nose, selflessly lead our nation to greatness once more. That is certainly all the legacy one could hope for.