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Dash of Pepper

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Giving Thanks for America
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
As an immigrant, I'm usually outraged when I hear people in this country putting America down which many on the Far Left do regularly these days - even some in Congress. But it also puzzles me greatly.
How can someone, even a Leftie Moonbat, live in this country, be a citizen of this nation, and not appreciate its inherent greatness.
When I was in my twenties, I traveled quite bit in Europe. At first, I was preoccupied with all things we in America think of when we think about Europe: the great cathedrals, amazing art museums, stunning chateaus and country homes. As I became more familiar with some of the people around me, I realized the so-called sophistication only partly disguised the cynicism of the average European.
The cynicism was real, in that I gradually realized that they didn't really believe in anything. Back in the 1960s, big issues of the day were not talked about in the cafes. Airy theories of philosophy were discussed by some, usually as a way of impressing their companions. The Brits also seemed detached as were many in my own (former) country, Canada.
As a very young child, my parents often took my sister and me across the Canada/ U.S. border for vacations. Even at a very young age, I dimly realized that America was DIFFERENT. People seemed more alive, more involved and HAPPIER. When, much later, I joined the Canadian subsidiary of a large American company, I was determined that, by hook or by crook, I was going to get a transfer to the United States. I said nothing of my intentions to my family. They were fine people, but held romantic ideas about the "old country", Great Britain, and how Canada would be fine if she just hewed to British values and resisted the siren call of wealthy America.
My favorite writer/columnist, Mark Steyn, also an immigrant, recently wrote about being thankful for America. He pointed out something very interesting. Europe doesn't have a long record of stability and strong national sovereignty. France, from the Bourbon kings down through Napoleon, into this century right to the 1950s, was a mess in terms of governance. Germany too, messed up, to the point that the population let Hitler get into office and did not have stability until the 1950s. And, to quote Mr. Steyn, "we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain and Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies."
By contrast, he adds, "the U.S. Constitution is not only older than France's, Germany's, Italy's or Spain's constitutions, it's older than all of them put together." He points out that this has helped protect us from the siren song of ideas such a communism and fascism.
When disaster strikes the far corners of the earth, America is there instantly, with real relief - thanks to the U.S. military. The Europeans cannot impact events the way we can. We pay lip service to getting help from some of them in Iraq and Afghanistan, but most to their soldiers don't even have serious fire power or decent rules of engagement.
If we were to shrink our military, can you begin to imagine how fast the world, in Steyn's words, "would become nastier, bloodier and far more unstable."
He hits the nail on the head when he says, "Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation states. European, because they've been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to."
So, this holiday, I'm not only thankful to America and for the American way, I'm also thankful to the U.S. soldier. Here's a wonderful quote from Dwight Eisenhower:
"The trained American possesses qualities that are almost unique. Because of his initiative and resourcefulness, his adaptability to change and his readiness to resort to the expedient, he becomes, when he has attained a proficiency in all the normal techniques of battle, a most formidable soldier."
Well said, General. Thank God for the American G.I.
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper

 

Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 15:36  

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