Thursday, November 19, 2009

Uncle Sam Wants You

We often say that we owe our freedom to our soldiers. Some of our honored veterans of military service are in this picture of the recent Living History Day at Milwaukie, OR High School. Thanks, sisters and brothers!
We owe our freedom to our military?
That may be true of Gen. Washington's Continental Army which lost most battles but won the campaign by being an insurgency, not much of a military force. It may be true of WWII.
As a Cold War veteran during the Vietnam era, I think that our military--especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan today--contribute to our safety and security. That is, provided that the net result of these wars is not an overall increase of extremism and terrorism. The jury is still out on that.
But only we can keep ourselves free as a people. We do that by vigorously exercising the rights and responsibilities of citizenship: informing ourselves, educating ourselves, expressing ourselves, asking questions, seeking answers and solutions, and communicating regularly with our neighbors as well as our representatives and leaders in government. It also requires us to hold our sources of information every bit as accountable as we do our leaders and our own family members. There is no substitute for honesty. Anywhere.
That requires us to actually know something about what is going on. That requires us to invest some sweat equity to acquire actual information and to process that into some kind of knowledge. That requires us to do more than simply hold opinions which are plentiful and free-of-charge. How well are your fellow Americans doing that?
Take this little self-test as a starter. Then see how your friends and neighbors do.
Test your knowledge with 12 questions:
Still think we are a free people? Are terrorists the only ones who hate our freedoms? Do we deserve the service of the people in harm's way on our behalf today?
As Jesus said, "Watch and pray."

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