I read a little this past week about the insanity of that final day of World War One combat. The Germans agreed to end all hostilities before 6am that morning. The fighting did not stop at that moment however. The Allies decided that instead of ending the war immediately, they would wait for the visually interesting string of 1’s, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Another estimated ten thousand people died before the signal to cease-fire. One of the last people to die in “regulation” so to speak was a French soldier named Augustin Trébuchon. He was shot and killed at 10:45am by a German sniper as he was spreading the news about where to gather for lunch to celebrate the end of the war. 15 minutes later, that sniper fire would have been a war crime.
Anyone who spends even a little time studying war knows that many, many combatants die in ignoble ways. There is no glory being blown up by an IED, dying from an infection or disease as countless have in every war, or probably the worst, killed by friendly fire. Nor is any meaning to be found in what is euphemistically called “collateral damage” killing innocent civilians, women, children and the aged.
So when we, as a nation, ask our young men and women to put their lives in danger and their moral identity at risk, we’d better have a damn good reason. They need to know and feel deeply exactly what they are defending. Yes, they want to protect comrades on the field and friends and family at home, but they also need a larger moral purpose. When we send them to war that higher purpose must include protecting what is precious about America, our core values and ideals we inherit from the Founders of this country.
This morning I want to remind us of the glorious vision upon which this nation was founded; a vision that wasn’t at all common 250 years ago and remains very precious today. …. for more follow link