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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


Happy Veterans' Day!

This is the day we remember our brave American soldiers, who throughout our nation's proud history have given their comfort, blood, and lives that their countrymen might be free.

I was blessed with being in their magnificent company for the formative years of my adult life, and am grateful every day for the experience of having worn the uniform they continue to honor.

Back when I was a cadet, we were required to memorize a dizzying array of quotations from military leaders past---it was considered to be part of our heritage as warriors.

We memorized a number by General George S. Patton, to be sure, but this quotation from Patton's War As I Knew It is surely part of our shared heritage as Americans, even if my coming across it occurred long after I'd left the parade grounds:

The soldier is the Army.

No army is better than its soldiers.

The soldier is also a citizen.

In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country.

Hence it is a proud privilege to be a soldier---a good soldier.

Anyone, in any walk of life, who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and to American tradition.

To be a good soldier a man must have discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and in his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to his comrades and to his superiors, and self-confidence, borne of demonstrated ability.

I have never read a better description of the characteristics so apparent in our military veterans, those noble attributes which mark them as so different than those who have not served in America's armed forces.

They are a noble breed, and thankfully, a thriving one, as our young troops in Afghanistan and Iraq readily exemplify.

Thank you for your service to our country, and may your gray heads nestle comfortably on the pillow in peace for decades to come, as those who follow your example take your place in the line.

This will remain at the top of this blog all day.


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