Monday, May 27, 2013

(Video) Reagan's first inaugural address had a message for Memorial Day

Tampico Civil War memorial,
Ronald Reagan Park,
February 6, 2011
Setting a new tradition, Ronald Reagan chose to be sworn in on the west side of the Capitol Building. Remarking on his view, the Gipper drew attention to the nation's most hallowed ground, Arlington National Cemetery as he concluded his address.
Beyond those moments -- those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.

Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such a marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the Western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy fire. We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge" he had written these words:
America must win this war. Therefore, I will work; I will save; I will sacrifice; I will endure; I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.

God bless you and thank you. Thank you very much.
And thank you, Mr. Treptow.

Hat tip to Sunday's Teri O'Brien Show.

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