American Military Cemetaries Around The World
Colonel Joshua Chamberlin of the 20th Maine Regiment spoke to a group of 120 mutineers sent to him just before the Battle of Gettysburg, June 30, 1863, trying to show them why they should join his regiment for the fight. His words from nearly 150 years ago reflect American military values to this day.
“…This is a different kind of army. If you look at history, you’ll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we’re here for something new. This has not happened much, in the history of the world: We are an army out to set other men free…”
Colin Powell, speaking as Secretary of State, reiterated this principle in 2002 when asked on TV how he felt representing a country commonly perceived as “the Satan of contemporary politics.”
“…Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people.
“And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, “Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us”? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems, which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. And that is the kind of nation we are.”
Regardless of your politics, I hope you’ll agree that our military has represented and defended us with honor. Take a few minutes to see the land to which Secretary Powell referred. I can’t think of a better way to reflect on those who did not come home and place their sacrifice in perspective this Memorial Day.
Here’s to the Heroes Who Never Came Home. Watch.