It doesn’t matter that I’ve probably heard our national anthem hundreds, if not thousands, of times; a shiver never fails to run down my spine and the hair on the back of my neck always stands straight up. There’s something so incredibly moving behind those notes. They embody the joy and happiness, struggles and pain of a nation – our nation.
Resolve, honor, determination, courage, grit, unwavering morals, justice, independence and truth beyond measure. All that comes to mind when I hear our national anthem. I suppose that’s the point – to evoke patriotic emotions.
Maybe it’s because Max is deploying in a few weeks, or perhaps it’s a result of the recent activity in Syria, but I feel as if the needle on my patriotic scale has spiked in the last few days.
When I came across this video, I couldn’t help but post it. Like our national anthem, it made me shiver. It’s a speech entitled We Must Fight and it was delivered by President Reagan. Just in case you want to read through it, I’ve pasted the entire script below the video. Enjoy and God Bless.
We Must Fight – President Ronald Reagan
Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace – and you can have it in the next second – surrender.
Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face – that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand – the ultimatum.
And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for “peace at any price” or “better Red than dead,” or as one commentator put it, he would rather “live on his knees than die on his feet.” And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin – just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, “There is a price we will not pay.” There is a point beyond which they must not advance. Winston Churchill said that “the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits – not animals.” And he said, “There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.