Over the last year, the great story of our nation has taken quite a few plot twists. Censorship, violent political activism, oppressive restrictions on personal freedoms, deliberate media manipulation, spikes in crime, a campaign of race-based division and more have us fretting about our next chapter.
In times of uncertainty, when America’s very foundations are being loudly challenged at home and abroad, the silence of our military cemeteries should give us confidence to press on. The simple tombstones and markers in so many neat rows can speak volumes to the troubled American who hears the echoes of fascism wafting into American life.
Those markers are an ever-present reminder that our freedom comes at a cost. In their stately quiet can be heard a message about American resiliency.
To be sure, there are many pushing back today against the radical left that is looking to scroll its broad Marxist strokes on the masterpiece that is this country. When the anti-America crowd is loud and inescapable, we should listen to those whose service ended in their silence.
When we hear President Biden and the Democrats’ ‘white supremacy’ and racially divisive rhetoric, think of the doughboy from WWI whose name is weather worn on a small town memorial. We should recall the sailor entombed at Pearl Harbor, the soldiers frozen in the trenches of Korea, the Marine who hit the beaches of Vietnam and then no further. We remember the airman whose plane vanished from radar and the fresh-faced kid lost to a terrorist IED in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Think about how they viewed America. They knew that their nation wasn’t perfect, but they understood why it was exceptional.
They had to believe as they struggled to their last breath that in their absence we would do our part to keep our nation strong and free. That we would live to love our country and work together to make it even better, not create a lazy, entitled society transfixed by victimhood rather than our resiliency.
Today we often get the sense among our people that little is worth making the ultimate sacrifice. We’ve been so bludgeoned with cynicism and negativity from the left that we’ve turned into a nation of despairing philosophers.
We seldom acknowledge real courage. We don’t foster true bravery. We spend more time telling young people that they’re victims of racism, sexism, corporatism or some other injustice, than we teach about the men and women who saved billions from genuine evil.
In perhaps the greatest insult to the fallen, Americans today are taught that they and their country are to blame for it all. We lionize George Floyd more than the soldier.
War is hell. Our heroes are proof of that, but more importantly, they are proof that America is worth walking through hell to protect.
The left’s moral relativism, most recently exemplified by its support for Hamas terrorists, is a path to perdition. It is reflective of a sense from our universities and media that everything is shades of gray.
But just as the tombs of Arlington stand steadfast in the sun speaking to us about courage and sacrifice, we must know there is still right and wrong. There is still good and evil, freedom and tyranny.
Our heroes didn’t give their lives for a racist country. They put themselves in harm’s way so that they and others would live in a nation where they didn’t burn books, oppress religion, eviscerate privacy, or blame certain cultures for the ills of society.
They wouldn’t dare smear their nation with reckless abandon like we see daily on social media and in the left-wing press today.
Today and every day we must remember, they believed in us. We owe it to the fallen to believe in ourselves. We owe it to them to believe in America again.
Are you listening, Mr. President?
• Tom Basile, host of Newsmax Television’s “America Right Now,” is an author and adjunct professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches earned media strategy.
Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter