Editor’s Note: Col. Andrew O’Meara, will be giving a speech at his local church. He was asked to provide remarks honoring our fallen heroes at their ceremony on Memorial Day.
Here is his speech, it is worth reading to everyone you know.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Veterans, it is an honor to join you in recognition of Memorial Day.
The men and women we honor today shared bonds linking them with one another, as well as with the men and women of earlier generations, who served in defense of liberty.
Ours nation was born in defense of liberty and equality – concepts once viewed as revolutionary. The American commitment to liberty has characterized our people from the earliest settlements on our shores.
Our ancestors called their experiment in liberty, a “City upon a Hill,” as an example to men and women everywhere.
It was an exceptional statement of intent to separate ourselves from the Old World and the bondage our ancestors left behind in their quest for a new nation under God.
Our Founding Fathers severed ties with England, rejecting their colonial status with these words in the Declaration of Independence establishing a new nation, “…endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” asserting our rights were from God alone and not granted by tyrants.
It was an act that sets Americans apart as free men and women, who declared themselves defenders of liberty.
How do we measure the debt we owe to those whom we honor today? We measure it in faith, blood, sweat and tears from the earliest days of the struggle for independence.
We measure it in the sovereignty of the people, who govern through freely elected representatives of government “for, by and of the people.” It was a challenge our forefathers met by taking up arms so that they might live free, serving as an example for those in bondage in distant lands.
Those we honor include the first soldiers of the Continental Army and state militia called to the colors by the Continental Congress. They understood the danger of fighting professional English Red Coats; and knowing the price of freedom, they took up arms to preserve rights proclaimed in the earliest settlements in America.
Their descendents followed their courageous example, fighting on American soil, and in distant lands that liberty might prevail over tyranny.
The sacrifices of American patriots were marked by bloody footprints in the snow at Valley Forge. The Continental Army and local militia met the Red Coats on battlefields from New England to South Carolina. American patriots fought a long and exhausting war against England to win their independence.
In the mid-nineteenth century slavery threatened to dismember America. In truth, it was a problem Americans didn’t create. It was a problem created by the English Crown by importing slaves into the Colonies in the Fifteenth Century.
English governors of the Colonies legalized slavery to expand trade with England. English slave traders imported slaves into the colonies for more than two and a half centuries until the American Continental Congress outlawed the slave trade.
Slavery generated vast wealth for the English Crown. Following their defeat at Yorktown, the English surrendered leaving English laws preserving slavery on the books in their former colonies. Human bondage was a product of English colonialism that the Crown left behind in their former colonies.
Slavery was a curse upon America and those remaining in bondage. Regrettably, Americans from North and South paid a bitter price for the English slave trade.
The Constitution failed to protect the freedom of those still in slavery. It was the only way to bring together all the Colonies to gain our independence. But slavery contradicted our heritage of freedom, a contradiction between national aspirations and the English legacy of slavery.
The problem resulted in armed conflict two generations after we achieved our independence. Both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis saw the problem in the perspectives of their times. Lincoln vowed to protect the Union, while
Jefferson Davis fought for States rights. Confrontation between North and South led to the clash of arms between men dressed in blue and gray. They fought with great valor for four long years on battlefields across America. By the war’s end, 600,000 died in the bloodiest of all American conflicts.
The enormous sacrifices haunted families throughout our country, whose hearts “were touched by fire” as Oliver Wendell Holmes would later put it. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution finally brought an end to slavery in 1865.
In the Twentieth Century Americans in olive drab fought in the trenches of World War I to halt aggression and bring liberty to captive nations in Europe.
During World War II, America fought to liberate those enslaved by Nazi tyranny. The blood of Americans turned the surf of Normandy beaches red and left a trail of blood across two continents that liberty might replace bondage.
American battles against the Nazis traversed North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany, defeating the Third German Reich that had taken the lives of fifty million souls.
In the Pacific soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines made similar sacrifices as they fought their way across a vast ocean – island by island – in bitter battles to defeat the Japanese Empire.
The Korean War marked another bitter chapter in our national experience as GIs made heroic sacrifices to halt communist aggression. It was an ugly war fought in arctic cold on mountain tops to defeat Chinese Communist hordes and North Korean invaders to secure South Korean liberty.
A decade later President Kennedy pledged to halt Communist aggression against South Vietnam. A new generation of soldiers and marines in jungle fatigues fought countless battles supported by Air Force and Navy firepower to secure a hard won peace.
It was a fragile peace that tragically was lost by Washington liberals, who had opposed the war, wasting the sacrifices of American troops and the South Vietnamese people. It was a shortsighted policy trading victory in battle for cost savings that eliminated support for our gallant allies.
It resulted in Communist conquest of South Vietnam. It was a bad decision that broke faith with our Founding Fathers and resulted in the enslavement and brutal slaughter of those, who had put their faith in America.
The bitter sacrifices of the Vietnam Veterans, American men and women in jungle fatigues, kept faith with our American heritage of defending freedom and never lost a battle to communist aggressors from North Vietnam. Hanoi left 1.4 million soldiers dead upon battlefields across the country.
Despite the betrayal of South Vietnam, American sacrifices secured ten critically important years that allowed Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia time to defeat local communist insurgents.
Moreover, the long war waged by Hanoi, and supported by Moscow, exhausted the Soviet Union contributing to the economic collapse of the USSR.
Vietnam Veterans can hold their heads high for their sacrifices, which proved invaluable in halting communist conquest of Southeast Asia. Moreover, the price paid by the Soviet Union to equip Communist invasions of South Vietnam led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and helped to secure the final victory in the Cold War.
In retrospect, JFK’s decision to defend the people of South Vietnam from communist attack was vindicated a generation after his assassination. JFK’s spilt blood mingled with that of the defenders of South Vietnam in joint sacrifice that speaks volumes about the identity of the assassins of our noble Commander-in-Chief.
Today new generations of warriors in battle dress uniforms wage the struggle for freedom in Central Asia. Their sacrifices in the War on Terrorism protect America, while waging the fight for liberty against barbaric cut-throats, backward adherents to a Seventh Century creed of savage tyranny.
Islamic terrorists hide among the civilian population, wear no uniforms and wage war upon defenseless non-combatants. The sacrifices of our men and women in uniform have protected our homeland from savage attacks of Islamic radicals, while opening doors to democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Freedom requires each generation to defend liberty. Cemeteries mark the final resting places of those, who fought, bled and died that “government for, by and of the people might not perish from the earth,” as Lincoln phrased the vision of our Founding Fathers. American Cemeteries containing the sacred remains of our honored dead dot this land, as well as distant lands in Europe and the Pacific.
While countless heroes rest in unmarked graves of souls buried at sea or patriots missing in action, who’s final resting place is known to God alone. The American struggle for freedom is unique.
Ours is a record of sacrifice by a generous nation, like none other. It is an exceptional legacy bequeathed to men and women everywhere by our fallen heroes.
As we pay tribute to our fallen this Memorial Day, we honor those who kept the faith, built America, and defended freedom. Ours is a dream come true, built upon hard won victories to preserve liberty for our sons and daughters.
The sacrifices of American patriots made our nation truly great, where all are free to continue the quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The gift of our deceased veterans is measured in the blood of tyrants; preserves government by, for and of the people; and it is an inspiration to all mankind.
Our sacred trust is to keep the faith, preserving liberty and the American dream for men and women everywhere. It is altogether fitting that we bear witness to the sacrifices of our honored dead as we preserve the American heritage. We ask the blessings of Almighty God upon our nation, a gleaming city upon a hill inspiring all mankind.
We pray the Lord to bless and heal our land; and we pray that our Lord and Savior give us the living the courage of those we honor today, as we seek to preserve the American dream and this great land we love.
Source: Stolen History
Editor’s Note: Colonel Andy P. O’Meara’s been featured in dozens of publications, published several exceptional titles including; ‘Only the Dead came home’ as well as ‘Accidental Warrior’.
He graduated with the 1959 class of WestPoint and continues his writing, advocacy work and research studies today.
One such program, ‘Science on the cutting edge: Hormonal impact on psychosocial dysfunction as related to PTSD’ is directed by O’Meara, Annie Hamilton, Scientific Researcher and Writer and several other figures within the military, intelligence, medical and scientific community.