I don't often blog about the Navy....but today, on the anniversary of the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, I have to take time to remember and honor those who have served in the Navy. I'd like to honor them with this clip of the Navy's Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard Drill Team.
Now, I'm not old enough to "Remember Pearl Harbor." But, like a lot of us, I have taken the time to learn about the attack; how we were unprepared, how our courageous service men (and women) tried to respond the best they could, how so many died, and how our collective surprise turned into determination not to allow our collective complacency to become our Achilles heel. The sleeping giant awoke after Pearl Harbor and took care of business.
I am old enough to remember 9/11. I had a small part to play in the Air Force's response that day, and in the days and weeks following. I will always remember the shock and horror I felt when I realized that we were under attack; not by a state entity, but by extremists bent on forcing their beliefs on us through terror.
I thought that the sleeping giant had awoken after that cowardly attack; and it did...for a while. But it seems to me that we have slipped back into our collective complacency. Although we are actively involved in military operations against terrorists in multiple places around the world, there is no real impact on the majority of us. We have not been asked to alter our selfish way of life. We have not been asked to do all we can to support the effort. We have not been asked to sacrifice.
Unless we have friends or family who have courageously volunteered to serve in our fighting forces, we seem to have forgotten the need to stand fast and fight for liberty and against those who would use terror to deprive us of our freedoms. I've heard the cynical saying that "the military has gone to war, and Americans have gone to the mall." Unfortunately, it seems that it's true. The "sleeping giant" has willingly gone back to sleep....leaving those who serve in our military forces, and our first responders, to keep their eyes open and carry the burden of protecting and preserving all that we hold dear. May God bless them for their willingness to stand firm.
So, President Obama finally made a decision. He's going to send 3o,ooo more troops to support our operations in Afghanistan. Good. It's about time. I hope that President Obama's plan to "finish" the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and their extremist allies works. I'm not sure that President Obama is being realistic....but I can still hope. I am, however, extremely concerned by the "deadline" President Obama has set for leaving Afghanistan. Not only does a "deadline" give those extremists hope...all they have to do is wait for us to leave before restarting their plans...but a "deadline" may not be realistic. I fear that President Obama will become so entrenched in the idea that he has to leave by the deadline he set, that he will ignore military realities that may exist at the time. Anyone who has served in the military knows that no plan lasts beyond first contact with the enemy. My fear is that President Obama, and his advisers, will become so entrenched in the politics of supporting their plan that they forget those military realities.