Jul 5, 2021
By Robert Heichberger
This is that time of the year when we give recognition to the valor of Independence Day; and we shall not forget. It was George Washington who said on January 8, 1790 “A major goal for our people is that of providing for the common defense.” There are those who desperately yearn for a sense of national and personal security for themselves and particularly for their children and grandchildren.
Three major central issues face America today, they are: a stable and vibrant economy, a Judiciary true to the Constitution and national defense against diabolical foreign and domestic terrorists.
There is no question, terrorists are brutal and want to see the elimination of the American way of life. Clearly, Americans should be UNITED in their determination to protect our homeland. A divided America makes it easier for these terrorists to achieve their goal. Truly, the men and women of our Armed Forces are valiant in their resolve in the defense of America. They deserve the support by all Americans and people who are willing to call evil by its name.
There are those today , to the dismay of many, who support appeasement over strength, surrender over vigilance and the weakening of national defense against terrorists. Think of it, we did not negotiate with the carnage of Hitler’s Nazis Germany or with Japan’s Hirohito and his attack on the innocent lives at Pearl Harbor. We were determined then, as a people, to defeat the Axis powers. If we had not acted as we did, speculate where might we be today. But we did act. And a willing and committed people along with statesmanship-like leadership moved forward with a will and a determination to protect the homeland and to preserve freedom for millions. Thanks to the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. And thanks too, to John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missal crisis and Ronald Reagan in his call to Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall.” All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time,” said liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith back in 1977. It is a truism, terrorism thrives when tyrants rule, and moderation is stifled.
Sir Winston Churchill said it well when he stated “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.” It is true, we face the threat of terror from the fascist forces of radicalism. This is no time for apologizing for American Exceptionalism or call for moral equivalence, but this is the time for moral clarity. Winston Churchill said it well: “Never flinch, never weary, never despair.” Indeed, as Americans we say with thankful hearts “we are the land of the free be cause of the BRAVE!”
Dr Heichberger is a resident of Gowanda and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus SUNY Fredonia
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