This is a series of short stories that speak to the fact that America has always been the protector of freedom and has never gone into another country with the purpose of expanding our borders or subjugating another people. While there were no weapons of mass destruction found, our nation has brought freedom to the people of Iraq and I pray that, with honor, we can remove our troops from this country very soon.
While our nation, and especially in my view our current leadership, is not perfect we should remind ourselves of what America has always stood for and the price of freedom that was paid by others that we still enjoy.
The first story begins, “When in England, at a fairly large conference, Gen. Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying, ‘Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land that we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those who did not return.’ You could have heard a pin drop.
“There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During the break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, ‘Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?’
“A Boeing engineer stood up and quietly replied, ‘Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from the sea water each day, and they can carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have 11 such ships; how many does France have?’ You could have heard a pin drop.
“A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.’ He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’ Without hesitating, the American admiral replied, ‘Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.’ You could have heard a pin drop.”
In these days when our nation is fighting a worldwide war on terrorism, we should be constantly reminded of our heritage. Many wars and battles have been fought since the early days of the Revolutionary War, but when General George Washington issued the order to, “Put only Americans on guard tonight,” he had a reason. Yes, we still have people in America today who are not loyal to our country.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)