As always Ben Stein is at his reflective best when he writes about the selfless contributions of our soldiers and veterans. As I have gotten older I find that Memorial Day has become the holiday that has the most personal meaning to me. It is a day to reflect and realize how petty and insignificant the current political squabbles are today. On this day I think about my paternal grandfather. An infantryman who landed at Normandy on D-Day, fought through France only to be cut down by artillery fire on the western side of the Rhine in November of 1944. In 2002 I had the privilege to meet with my grandfather’s best friend who was with him at the time of his death. Until this point I only knew my grandfather from his military photograph and my dad’s childhood memories of his father. For the next three hours I was in rapt attention. I was told stories not of derring-do, but of a quiet man with two young children who decides to join up late in the war out a sense that “something had to be done.” Of a workingman, a carpenter, whose sense of common decency and duty was such that he cared for his family and by extension his country so much that he would put his life at risk for a common moral cause.p>When I was a child I was always mad because I never got to meet the handsome man in the cool uniform. I used to play with my plastic army soldiers and imagine my granddad storming the beach, knocking out machine gun nests, and single handedly taking out the German High Command. My dad would show me his father’s medals and the flag that they received at his funeral. As a young man I became upset with the fact that a man in his late twenties with children had no business running off to war. That while admirable, he left his wife a widow and his children without a father. As time went on my selfish thoughts gave way to the fact that near the end of the war we were running out of prime candidates for military service. I am sure that he realized that it was necessary to heed the call and sign up for service and in this case the ultimate sacrifice to his country. Everyday and especially on Memorial Day, I wonder if I would have had the fortitude to face that challenge. I will never be able to answer that question. One question I can answer is that because of my grandfather’s love for his family, friends, and his country I was never faced with that challenge. To all the veterans and all those on active duty, we can never do enough to honor your brave service. br> — Ron Pettengill br> London, United Kingdom /p>
“They Did God’s Work” is the most astoundingly magnificent tribute for Memorial Day I have ever read. It is thought provoking. It is humbling. It is real sympathy for those who have lost a loved one, and ultimate honor for those who have died in defense of our beloved nation. And a much needed slap in the face for those who seek to destroy our nation, mislead our countrymen with falsehoods, separate us from our God and disgrace our Military.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?