Monday, May 28, 2007


I remember when I was a kid; one thing was clear to me. The more I learned about the rest of the world, the luckier I felt just having been born in America. The more I learned about America, the more I appreciated what those who came before us built; and how exceptional they were.

Not that there aren't other great places to live, but America is unique. It's not just that we are the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever seen. America has also freed more people than any other nation in history.

A lot of people have done their part to see that we are blessed with the advantages we enjoy -- from hardworking pioneer mothers to the Framers of the Constitution. Memorial Day is coming up, though, and I'm thinking more about American soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice -- those who died to protect our way of life and make the world safe for democracy.

There are some people, though, who don't think that's such a good idea. Some people even want to use Memorial Day to protest our military's presence in Iraq. The irony is that their right to protest was paid for by people willing to risk everything to keep the forces of tyranny at bay -- here as well as Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Korea, Burma, Vietnam, the Philippines and dozens of other countries.

Over the years, a lot of people have tried to talk us out of feeling about America the way we do. Instead of pride in what America has done, they want us to feel guilty -- generally because we have so much more than rest of the world. Of course, it wouldn't help the rest of the world one whit if we had less -- either of freedom or of prosperity. On the contrary, it’s our liberties that have made us prosperous and there's no reason the rest of the world couldn't be just as well-off -- if they embraced freedom as well.

Almost always, when I talk to people who see America as the problem, their arguments are based on ignorance or an outright tangling of history. What they thought they knew about America and the world came second- and third-hand through people with axes to grind.
That's why I was troubled recently when I came across a report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. The report's conclusion was that American colleges and universities are failing to increase their students' knowledge of America's history and institutions.

Students polled in a wide range of colleges and universities showed no real improvement in their historical knowledge. Some actually forgot part of what they'd learned in high school by the time they graduated -- and I'm talking about some of our best-known Ivy League schools.
Less than half of college seniors knew that, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal" is from the Declaration of Independence. Less than half knew basic facts about the First Amendment. Half didn't know that the Federalist Papers were written in support of the Constitution's ratification. Only a quarter of seniors knew the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine.

This is our quandary. Memorial Day is about remembering. It’s about remembering those who died for our country; but it's also about remembering why they believed it was worth dying for. Too many Americans, though, have never been taught our own history and heritage. How can you remember something that you’ve never learned?


Anonymous z said...

Too many Americans haven't been taught their history for a REASON, THAT is what scares ME.

Better to study BLack Lesbian Studies than the Bill of Rights. Then, it's more worth fighting for Black Lesbian rights than OURS.

Happy Memorial Day, Mr. Thompson, good health, and I Hope you run.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone....and to ALL our vets, living and dead. May God bless you all for all you've given us.


9:00 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thanks, ZinLA! I hope like anything that Fred runs, too--he's my guy!

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ignorance of college students in knowning American history isn't an accident. Its by design. It starts in the government schools(public). Its a politically-correct,anti-white male,anti-American moral relativist history that teaches that America is no better, if not actually worse than any other country and that its only saving grace are feminists, Socialists, minorities and others who have percieverd against 'racist, white male oppression''. Its no wonder no American schoolkid knows who Gen.John"Black Jack'' Pershing was, or Sgt. Alvin York, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, Col.Jimmy Doolittle or Lt. Commander Ernest Evans. Lt.Commander Ernest Evans was the captain of the destroyer U.S.S Johnston and on the morning of Oct.28,1944,off the island of Samar in the Phillepine sea, along with several other lightly armed American ships took on a superior force of Japanese battleships and heavy crusiers. For almost two hours, the U.S.S Johnston, armed only with 5 inch guns and torpedos repeatedly charged the line of Japnese ships, knocking out the Japanese crusier Chikuma with a torpedo. Time and again, Lt.Commander Evans took on ships two and four times the Johnston's size and absobered numerous hits from 8,14 and 14 inch shells,recalled one obsever"It(the Johnston)looked like a puppy that had been smashed by a truck''Had this Japanese force not been stopped it would have destroyed the American landings in the Phillipines and this small force of American ships stood in its way.18 and 19 year-old American kids,fighting for their lives, slugging it out against over-whelming odds and not flinching, fighting with everything they had. Do you think any American kid knows this? Probably not. But they sure know all about Black History Month and Womens History Month and Cinco De Mayo. For all its heroism and guts, the Johnston went down with a loss of over a hundred men, including Lt.Commander Evans, who by the way was half Cherokee Indian. Lt.Commander Evans was awared the Medal of Honor postumously. Yes, its by design that this historical ignorance is happening. When you don't tell students of the history of their nation, of the true cost of freedom and what you do tell is a pernicious muddle of relativism and out right lies, that no country, least of all America, then students will not revere, not honor and not defend their own own country. The intelluctal Fagins who promulgate this garbage are to blame. They are the enemy within and its up to all decent, patriotic Americans to challenge this at every turn. If you erase a nations history, then you erase that nation. And as long as I have breath and a voice, NO One is going to erase my nations history, too many have died to make this country what it is,the men of the generations of my family did, as did millions of others and so did those kids and Lt.Commander Evans of the U.S.S Johnston. J'Mac.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo, meant to say that ''least of all America is worth defending'' and ''8,12 and 14 ich shells''. Sorry. J'Mac.

10:32 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

J'Mac-I didn't know of this gentleman, though I have seen the film of the battle. THAT battle was a major blow to Japanese ambitions and overwheening pride!
G*D bless those men, they may have only been teens, but they are men whose shadow reaches far! And to not remember them dishonors us, not them!
Thanks for sharing that!


10:43 AM  

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