Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not In The Texas I Knew

October 21, 2007

It is with increasing distress that I read this morning, Liberty County Veteran’s Grave Vandalized. What distresses me, beyond the normal ghoulish and morbid act of defacing and vandalizing a grave site, is that this young man, Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Burris sacrificed his life for his country fighting an enemy far away from our shores to keep them from getting here.

I never knew Lance Cpl. Jeremy Burris or his family but have known many like him throughout the years and see him as an American Hero, worthy of all the respect and honor a grateful nation should pay him. To do such a ghastly act to his final resting place is beyond all reason.

Equally distressing is that isn’t an isolated incident, as many would think. The growing anti-war sentiment is once again spawning fruitcakes that, unable to force their view on others, resort to more heinous acts out of their frustration to sway opinions.

To be fair, I highly doubt the majority of the anti-war left, which is no secret I heartily disagree with, would condone such an evil and macabre act.

Since this war was brought to us in 2001 there has been increasing incidents of War Memorial, Veterans Memorial and Veterans Grave vandalism. A short list of these acts includes,

January 1995 New York Times, “Veterans' Memorial on L.I. Vandalized.”

December 2006, “Veterans cemetery in Fernley, NV vandalized.”

March 2003, California “American Legion in Raising Funds To Replace Vandalized Memorial

July 2006, Corpus Christi, Texas “Veterans Memorial repair still not complete

April 2004, San Marcos, Texas “Vandals Deface Veterans Memorial

January 2007, Pittsburgh, “War Memorial vandalized

May 2007, Beeville, Texas "war memorial destroyed."

May 2007, Orcas Island, Washington Vandals Burn Dozens of American Flags Decorating Veterans' Graves, Replace With Swastikas

September 2007, Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial defaced

And now, we can add the grave of Lance Cpl. Jeremy Burris, who was just buried this same week, to that growing list.

It is not only a shame that some black-hearted individuals choose to act in such a cowardly and disrespectful manner it is a crime. A Crime far worse than the spitting, both physical and emotional, we Viet Nam Veterans at times received upon our return home.

Almost as disturbing to me is that I hear of so few actual arrests for these heinous acts. Is it due to so few actually care and won’t provide information to the Police? I don’t know.

What I do know is that at one time, citizens wouldn’t rely on the Police to do something about people committing crimes as this. The citizens themselves would rise up and deal directly with such nefarious cretins that would vandalize either a grave or a Memorial to our Brave Troops who laid down their life for us.

Have we gotten so sympathetic and complacent that those whose blood has been spilled for our liberties and freedoms means so little to us? Not in the Texas I knew.

I pray for the return of not only that Texas, but America as well.


UPDATE: Texas Police Arrest Suspect in Vandalism of Marine's Grave


Flag Gazer said...

"Have we gotten so sympathetic and complacent that those whose blood has been spilled for our liberties and freedoms means so little to us?"

I fear we may have, Lew. There are just too many of these and too few people who care. It saddens me.

Canuckguy said...

I just shake my head at the antics of those pinhead losers who mess with grave sites and memorials.

Such stunts need to be caught in the act so I would think camers are the answer. It would discourage such vandalism.

LewWaters said...

Canuck, I appreciate your agreement. You confirm my words that even the majority of the anti-war left wouldn't condone such antics.

I don't know about the cameras discouraging it, though. Supposedly that have cameras set up at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial and so far, haven't been able to catch whoever defaced it. In fact, it took a few days for them to even agree it was vandalism.

It may have to come down to human guards, I don't know.

Like Flag gazer says, it's really sad that so few even care today.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will have he guts to say it, but you were wrong.
I believe a correction and an apology is in order.
It was not anti-war patriots who unspeakably vandalized the grave.
It was a crackhead looking to sell the flower arrangement supports.
Had it been one of the liberty-loving anti-war crowd, I would have joined you in the condemnation.

LewWaters said...

Uh, Lee, did you miss that I posted an "update" listing that the individual was arrested? That was long before you jumped in.

I see nothing less despicable in this act because it was for monetary gain, or so claimed.

Nor does it change anything in regards to all he other graves and memorials vandalized.

As for guts, when do you stand up and demand the left hold those from their ranks accountable for acts as this? When do you wake up and see what has been happening for all too long now?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I missed the update.
Whether they be zealots of the right, left or center (can you have a extreme centrist?), I deplore any such desecration and always have.
As this was for monetary gain, I find it even more odious.
I think they all should be held accountable, down the last ripped off bumper sticker.
I will wait your awakening as you must wait for mine.

Gary Fouse said...

America-Could We Lose It?

About ten years ago, while I was researching my first book, The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, I gained a lot of insights into the history of the Soviet Union itself and how it collapsed. True, Gorbachev and his reforms, followed by the attempted coup were the final contributors. Ronald Reagan kept up the pressure on the USSR with his defense programs, also helping push them over the edge. However, one of the largest factors in the collapse of the USSR was the re-awakening of the non-Russian republics and peoples in favor of their own identities and languages. Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika reforms had allowed the non-Russian peoples to once again discuss these issues, which, beginning under Stalin, had been severely repressed. The eventual result was a move to independence, led by the Baltic republics. In the end, the collapse of the USSR shocked the world-a major superpower collapsing under its own weight without being conquered militarily by any other power.

I often wonder if the same thing could happen to America. Obviously, there is no other power or combination of powers that could invade us and defeat us militarily. Yet, could we, like the former Soviet Union, suddenly collapse from within? It is tempting to quickly say no, that our free and democratic system has proven itself to be resilient, even during times of crisis like Watergate and the resignation of Nixon. Yet.......

It is obvious to everyone that we (and the rest of the world) are facing a major new challenge in Islamic fundamentalism that not only threatens to blow up the entire Middle East, but is threatening other nations as well from Europe to Asia to the Americas. Leaving the rest of the world aside for a moment, I feel confident that a united America could face this challenge.

However, we are not a united America. We are divided in a whole host of ways. We are divided by politics and philosophy, even to the point where we talk of red states and blue states. In spite of our best efforts, we are divided by race and class. In spite of the monumental Civil Rights Movement, the situation in the black inner cities is at a crisis point. Many blacks are still disaffected from white society, spurred on by "leaders" such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The illegal immigration issue is dividing many Latinos from the rest of us as many of them see the demands for border enforcement as being racist. Our Muslim Americans are feeling alienated from mainstream society, especially since 9-11. Many of them feel that Americans distrust them as Muslims. They feel that their religion is under attack here and abroad. The issue of Israel has led to tremendous friction between them and our Jewish citizens.

That last point, of course, relates also to the war in Iraq, which divides us all, much as the Viet Nam War did. As many Americans protest that war and our whole involvement in the Middle East, some even question the War on Terror, wondering how such a war can be won.

More importantly, however, is the growing sentiment among our own people that America is not such a noble country after all, a sentiment with which I entirely disagree, This sentiment is fanned by the left in our society. Who am I talking about? How about Hollywood, the universities, the mainstream news media, many figures in the Democratic Party and the other assorted activist organizations?

In the universities (I teach part-time at the University of California at Irvine) and also now in high schools, we see a left-wing agenda being propagated by teachers and professors, many of whom came of age as students during the volatile 60s. Many of these professors now see their job as teaching their students about all the faults of America-racism, sexism, imperialism, homophobia, Islamophobia and so on. They use their classroom platform to rail against people like President Bush, the Republican Party and conservatives in general. Many of their students, inspired and egged on by their professors, engage in various disruptive campus protests against anything and anyone they disagree with, in many cases, not letting speaking events go on. Radical leftists can walk around and speak freely on campuses, but any conservative speakers need bodyguards.

Hollywood is another interesting example. During World War 2, Hollywood actually participated in the war effort, producing movies that reinforced the public's knowledge that we were the good guys and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were the bad guys. That actually spilled partially over into the Viet Nam War. During the earlier stages of our involvement, John Wayne ( a patriot) starred in The Green Berets, a pro-American movie that carried on the tradition of the movies of World War 2 (and the Korean War as well). But as attitudes changed toward Viet Nam, Hollywood changed as well. Most Viet Nam War movies that have been produced since then have portrayed soldiers and Marines as being drug-using, psycotic misfits betrayed by their generals and the politicians in Washington who sent them there. Witness movies like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and many others. Today, movies about current conflicts take a position that we are fighting misguided wars, and treat the whole Islamic terror issue with kid gloves out of political correctness.

As for our mainstream media, they, like the universities, are almost entirely in the hands of the left-to the point that they are now editorializing under the guise of reporting. They are actually a wing of the Democratic Party. Who am I talking about? I am referring to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and too many other newspapers to list here. Only Fox News and talk radio can give the public any conservative thought.

When I was growing up, the Democratic Party was not dramatically different from the Republican Party. Both were fairly conservative and both were Cold Warriors. I guess it started to change during the 1960s, with the division and bitterness brought on by the Viet Nam War. Today, they do have some similarities in the area of corruption, love of power and pork-barrel spending of the public's money. Philosophically, however, there are deep differences. The Democrats have, with few exceptions, drifted solidly to the left with a more socialistic world view. The Republicans have stood for conservatism, on which in many cases they have compromised in recent years. Currently, members of the two parties can barely speak to each other, much less get anything done in Congress (perhaps a good thing?) It alarms me, however, to see how the Democrats cannot even support the president when it comes to our national defense. They don't want any eavesdropping on suspected terrorists without a court order. They want Guantanemo closed down and captured terrorists afforded federal trials with attorneys and all the other rights of criminal defendants. They don't want us to win in Iraq-just pull out- no matter the consequences. Meanwhile, politicians and government leaders on both sides of the aisle continue to bicker and fiddle while the country burns. It is disgraceful, but look at most of the characters we have in Washington and state and local offices around the country. Their one common attribute is ambition and little else. Meanwhile, our youth witness how many of our leaders act. If it's not Mark Foley chasing young pages around Washington, it's Bill Clinton turning the White House into a bordello, committing perjury and somehow remaining in office. If it's not William Jefferson caught on tape accepting a $100,000 bribe from the FBI, it's Larry Craig being busted in an airport men's room for solicitation of sex.

All of this is having an effect on the public, which is badly divided by left and right, forgetting in the process, that we are all threatened by the same enemy. Many people in our society are now starting to accept the idea that 9-11 was an inside job carried out by the Bush Administration to provide an excuse to start wars for oil. That itself is a scary idea that so many people could believe that. But consider that there is a University of Wisconsin professor who is pushing that very position. That is a prime example of how our youth are being educated today. They are not taught the essentials that my generation and my father's generation was taught. Rather they are taught all the historical errors of their country. Now we have a whole generation of young, college-educated people who cannot find the Middle East on a map, but can wax eloquent about gay issues. Sadly, it doesn't take a grade school dropout to swallow the notion that 9-11 was Bush's doing.

Along those same lines, it seems we have raised a whole generation of Americans who have not learned the fact that our freedom has come at a price. They take it for granted and have bought into the notion that they are entitled to everything. Some feel that way out of a sense of victimization; others simply out of a sense of entitlement. Sacrifice, public service and responsibility have gone out the window. It amazes me that in the midst of all this, we have still managed to produce those marvelous young men and women who are willing to wear the uniform of our country and put their lives on the line. They are the very best that our society has to offer. Yet, they get no respect from certain institutions like the universities.

Another factor which must be considered is the coursening of our culture. When did it become ok to sell pornography openly in stores or on the Internet? When did it become commonplace to see convicted child rapists (a rampant phenomenom in America) given probation or light sentences of say, one year, which happens with regularity in states like Vermont and Massachusetts? When did we get the notion that we no longer had the sovereign right to control our borders and decide who may enter our country? When did it become commonplace for hip-hop artists to perform "songs" about violence, rape and killing cops, using a stream of 4-letter words in the process? (In my lifetime, I have witnessed the slow death of one of our great American art forms; black music with actual singing and musical instruments.) When did it become acceptable for a university newspaper (Colorado State University) to display a headline reading-"F--- Bush!"? When did it become acceptable for a high school to invite speakers to explain to a (mandatory) student assembly that unprotected sex and drug experimentation were good ideas to be encouraged? (Boulder High School in Colorado-2007) Maybe, just maybe, it started when we legalized abortion. Since then, babies by the millions have been terminated as a choice. Maybe that was when we lost our soul as a people.

But how easy it is to lose one's soul when God has been driven from the public arena. Now any reference to God is open to attack. The result? We are now starting to emulate the Europeans, who are so proud of the secularization of their societies that ancient churches and cathedrals over there are now little more than museums for tourists. Enter one today and you only see other tourists- no services going on-maybe an old priest walking around a lighting candles. I hope the Europeans enjoy their secularization while it lasts. In another two generations, with present demographic trends, Europe will be majority Muslim-but it will not be secular.

So today, Christians and their faith are under constant attack. Jews are also under attack for their perceived allegiance to Israel; thus, we see anti-Semitic speeches on college campuses, in many cases, by Muslim speakers invited by the Muslim Students Unions. Such is the case at my school-UC Irvine. Meanwhile, university leaders (like ours) wring their hands and talk about freedom of speech being paramount while calling any criticism of these hate-filled speakers as Islamophobia, a moral equivalent of the anti-Semitic speeches themselves. The bottom line is that while our own majority religion ( and that of our Jewish citizens) is being attacked from the left, Islam, with all of its intolerance and violent elements, is being cowtowed to by that very same left.

During the Cold War, one of the goals of the communists was to undermine us from within. Destroy Americans' faith in the country. Do away with religion and its values. Bring down the American economy and all our other advantages over other nations. Make America into just another nation among equals. Divide public opinion. They would be proud today at what has been happening here. Ever wonder what happened to all the American communists and sympathizers when the Soviet Union collapsed and Eastern Europe threw off Communism? They couldn't still proclaim themselves Communists and preach Communism as the ultimate answer lest they be laughed out the country. Where did they go? What are they doing now to help speed up the rotting away of our society and our power? There may be some clues in what I have written above.

So in my opinion, could America collapse from within due to our deep divisions? Absolutely, and I think there is a small but very vocal and active element in our society working to that very end. It is up to us to stand up for our country and our traditional values while at the same time, somehow, come together again. In this essay, I have written from an obviously conservative view, criticizing liberals. My essay is, in fact, divisive because I strongly believe that conservatism must prevail in this country. That in itself shows that our coming together will not be easy.

gary fouse

LewWaters said...

Gary, I thank you for leaving such a thought provoking and well written essay as that on my blog. Very well said.

Here is a link back to your blog and other well stated essays.

Gary Fouse - fousesquawk

I wholly agree that there isn't a Military Power that can defeat us on the battlefield. Knowing that, our enemies like to tie us up on the battlefield while they wage a propaganda war on our streets, as the KGB has claimed they did during Viet Nam.

Radical Jihadists see the result then and are very effectively using the same tactic to bring us to collapse.

Sadly, it appears to once again be working as too many, lulled into complacency and false promises of entitlements and peace on the horizon should the Democrat Party gain total power feel what our ancestors fought and died for isn't worth protecting today, that it will always be there.

I can't say that I will be around when the collapse comes, if Amercians don't wake up, but I fear the worst for my grandsons in the future.

What many fail to realize is that this current fight isn't so much for us today, but for those born today and yet to be born.