Commitment to U.S. Constitution
Presented Nov. 8, 2013 by Carl Rullmann at Salute to Veterans program presented by PrimeTimers at Faith Community United Methodist Church, Cox Road, West Chester.
The history of the world is by and large about conflict between nations. Nations defend themselves.
Corruption in government leads to aggression as evil and a desire to control gravitate toward dictatorial rulers. Aggression must be met by soldiers, sailors, and airmen, risking and giving their lives in their cause.
In America, there has never been a greater cause than a commitment to protecting the freedoms and liberty created by the Constitution of the United States, a governing document with the longest existence in the world because it works.
It worked so well that we, the general population, went to sleep. We found other things to do and be distracted by. We haven’t paid proper attention to our Constitution, or to God. We knew we lived in an exceptional country, but some of us slept thru history classes, or the stories from our elders explaining what American Exceptionalism really is. For example, there are good reasons why the United States is a republic rather than a democracy.
Exceptionalism isn’t that we are better people—we are not. We just have a Constitution that enables individualism, and secures our freedoms. It does not allow or permit them. The Constitution makes safe the liberty and the God-given rights recognized by the Founding Fathers.
In our comfort zones we have relied on our military, those who perform the physical process of protecting our freedoms. We still do. And no armed forces have ever been committed to or performed that task any better—from George Washington’s victory at Trenton, and Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans, to the mutually effective armies of the Civil War.
Bravery at San Juan Hill was the norm, and at Belleau-Wood in “The Great War.” That war saw the beginning of mass application of technology—airplanes, tanks, machine guns, poison gas, communications, long-range artillery, submarines, etc. This 20th-century technology combined with 19th-century tactics, yielded enormous casualties.
The end of The Great War gave us Armistice Day, now Veterans’ Day, which we prayerfully and thankfully observe each year in honor of all our Veterans.
In the Second World War, where we were again called upon to defend freedom in the world, our land, sea, and air victories included the Battle of Midway and then island after island in the South Pacific. More victories came in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and the gutsy defensive victory in the Battle of the Ardennes, that “Battle of the Bulge”, which ended the enemy’s ability to make war effectively.
Our armed forces more recently have fought to free people from tyranny again and again in all parts of the world. To fight for territory or treasure is not America’s way. That alone makes the United States unique and exceptional.
It brings to mind the words of the fourth verse of our National Anthem. It is seldom sung, but these solemn words reflect the thoughts of millions of us.
“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
In joining the military, we swore to support, defend, and preserve the U.S. Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In our hearts we know this is not just while we wear a uniform. Ask the Oath Keepers about it.
But we as citizens, yes, we the people, have not kept up our part of the responsibility. It is not a task left just to our military that we honor tonight, although without them, we would not be free, or even a nation.
It is up to each one of us to support, protect, defend, and preserve, in each and every way we can, this U.S. Constitution, this splendid document of the principles of self-government, unique in history—government of the people, by the people, and for the people, under God.