Lest we forget:

America is more than a place, even more than people. It is an idea with a powerful motivational influence. Sadly, death is a recurring factor. Multitudes of American war casualties rest in peace in military graves around the world ... 25 cemeteries in 10 countries. Thousands are at rest in those places and many more have been committed to the seas.

Regrettably, many are missing and their families grieve still, locked in the endless despair of the unknown. Add those in Arlington and other national cemeteries and the history of American wars is clear. Americans answered the call time after time and gave their lives to help others.

We know the tragedy of our Civil War. But, the question begs, why have we lost so many in foreign wars? We fought to keep this country free, of course, and it’s distressing to see internal strife. Outsiders have anti-America political agendas and the ill-informed obviously have no concern or knowledge about the values of this nation.

The “Silent Majority” must wonder where we have failed so many young people. They should, and they should speak up and stand up for their country now as they did in World War II. They made a difference then. They are needed now.

War has not been solely about America and its people. Through the years many of our young men and women have given their all so others could be free. They definitely made a difference. The cemeteries are a stark reminder how much it cost to break so many chains of tyranny for so many people.

The inscription below the Stars and Stripes at the Korean War Memorial in the nation’s capital leaves no doubt. It explains quite simply what America means to this world:

“Our nation honors her sons and daughters

Who answered the call to defend a country

They never knew and a people they never met.”

Americans can thank the Founding Fathers for their wisdom and courage in making the United States of America what it is and who and what we should be today … without criminals in the cities burning, looting, and creating havoc. The leaders in the 1770s put the new nation’s future on the road to become the greatest nation in history. Their words leave no doubt about what they intended:

“It’s impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” — George Washington

“Children should be educated and instructed on freedom.”

— John Adams

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

— Samuel Adams

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” — Benjamin Franklin

Abraham Lincoln observed that destruction of the U. S., if it ever came, would not be from abroad but from within. Others had the same opinion. Ronald Reagan noted that freedom is only one generation away from extinction. We can never say we haven’t been given sufficient warning about the threats we face. They could have referred to our country today. The clairvoyance is amazing.

Did these patriots speak and act in vain? Did Americans in cemeteries all around the world die in vain? It’s not too late to heed the warnings and signs of history. When we survey the lawlessness in our streets and impudent efforts to eviscerate police forces, most of what the Founding Fathers said is an eternal reminder of the price of liberty.

Lest we forget.

Collins lives in Greenwood and is retired from the Index-Journal where he served in several capacities, to include as the paper’s executive editorial editor.