We receive so many things in our e-mail boxes these days that it is almost an automatic response to delete just about everything, thinking that we are only keeping messages of importance. Thankfully I did not delete a message I received the other day from an 87-year-old gentleman. It moved me and I have posted it on this website to share.
What he sent speaks to a time past, a generation of people past and a way of life and a code of conduct that has sadly become the subject of Academic and Hollywood mockery. That this man landed at Normandy on D+17 (that’s June 23, 1944 for you current students of American History), and slogged his way through places such as St. Lô, The Falaise Gap, The Bulge, Dachau, the infamous Concentration Camp, is not the point. The point is why he and millions of other American men and women did what they did. What were their reasons for doing what they did and why do we not have the same ideals and principles today that they had then?
The central answer to this question lies in the greatest fear our allies have about our country and its current direction. Their fear is not the weakening of our military or our dollar or even the rise of a totalitarian China. Their fear is the progressive erosion of our societal institutions that has taken place since the onset of The Great Society; that the very things that made America exceptional are fast fading, and that our own President derides this American Exceptionalism!
We have only to look to our inner cities, the rate of children born out of wedlock, the stunning number of men imprisoned, the breakdown of the family unit, the abject failure of our public school system, and the progressive dumbing down of our education, our culture and our citizenry. Proof you ask? We get our news from the entertainment industry, formerly known as TV journalism. We gawk at and pay to see cage matches on TV much the same way the Romans did in the Coliseum watching the Gladiators while Nero fiddled and Rome burned. Jerry Springer and Maury Povich and their ilk cater to the basest aspects of our society. We continue to fall behind in doctoral degrees received in natural science and engineering and our high school students are ill prepared to face the challenges of the coming decades. We can’t even fill the jobs we have available today with applicants that are competent to perform the tasks required.
It is this weakening of our societal structures, long excused by moral relativism that is leading to our demise; we have met the enemy and he is us! Our sense of entitlement, our failure to save against the proverbial rainy day, our loss of American Initiative replaced by the government handout, desire for instant gratification, no longer knowing right from wrong, our inability to look after our families, our consummate lack of civility and personal responsibility; it is to these societal deficiencies that these attached posters speak. This entire decline has occurred in half a century (that’s 50 years for you high school students!) To quote the Bard- (that’s William Shakespeare for you college students) The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.