By Peter LaBarbera
One of my regrets in life is never having served in the military. Today we honor those who have, especially the brave American men and women who died in the service of our country. Every year around this time we hear the phrase, “paid the ultimate price” again and again, but we must never let it become trite. The fact is, Americans are free and secure because of the past and current sacrifices of noble men and women for whom patriotism is a way of life and not something to be mocked or trivialized.
And untold millions of people in other countries live better and freer lives thanks to the sacrifices of servicemembers fighting for them (and us) — as evidenced by this astonishing nighttime satellite photo of North and South Korea. The Americans who died in the Korean war certainly did not die in vain.
Through all the self-criticism of the United States by our own citizens — some of it responsible, some not — we forget America’s great achievements throughout the world. We helped save the world from the spread of fascism and its murderous cousin, communism. And America remains a benign superpower that, unlike the old Soviet Union, generally leaves countries with greater freedom and opportunity after our involvement. (Notable exceptions like Vietnam are the fault of reckless and feckless politicians, not the military.)