(Mark Noonan) – 2009 certainly turned out to be a year to forget about. Economic collapse, mis-managed war in Afghanistan, continual corruption in government, purblind liberals pushing policies which will wreck the country. Our great State of Nevada has actually been so badly governed that we lost population. There was just so much wrong last year that its hard to decide what to dislike the most.
The other day I was looking at two pieces of paper I have. One of them is signed by President Ronald Reagan, the other by President Barack Obama. Two more different American politicians can hardly be imagined, but what is written on the papers is the same. The say:
“The United States of America honors the memory of George C. Noonan. This Certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.”
The reason why the name is the same in both is that my father and grandfather shared the same name. All they had to do for my dad was add “Jr.” to the name. My grandfather died in 1981, my father just this past April and thus the two signatures of the President. I was turning over in my mind that this is what my father and grandfather received for their service to our nation.
“Papa George” (as I knew my grandfather) served in Pershing’s American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War One, with all of his brothers. A cousin advises that all of them were wounded to at least some extent in their service, with the miracle being that none of them were killed. It seems that at least two of their sisters served as nurses in France, as well.
My Dad – with a combination of great bravery and incredible youthful foolhardiness – joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17 in 1944. Family legend has it that grandma was opposed but signed off on it with theory that the Marines wouldn’t take so scrawny a youth as my father. They did.
Why bring this up? Because these two men both went and offered everything they had for our nation. And what has become of the nation they volunteered to die for? The nation which so many hundreds of thousands of their like did die for? I’m thinking of the fact that we owe a trillion dollars to China and that our government is desperate to indebt us even further to China so that no one in government has to summon the courage to cut the budget. Our nation people have bled for is lead by people who don’t even have the guts to speak the truth and do the right thing.
We hear much of “public service”. Such a phrase lumps together people like my father and grandfather with bureaucrats time-serving their way to a fat pension in the government bureaucracies.
With their lips our leaders will speak moving words about the service of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, but they betray each and every one of them by misgoverning the United States in to the poor house – and allowing enemy nations like China and Iran to thumb their noses at us. While Harry Reid has become a millionaire in his government service, my father-in-law (who, also, served) has been fighting for years to get something out of the Veterans Administration for his service-related injury.
There is something very wrong with this picture. And in recognition of the “selfless consecration” of my father and grandfather, I am determined to do something about it. We must rise up and force our leaders to be worthy of the best America has to offer. Unless a politician can look a battle-scarred soldier in the eye and say, “I did the right thing”, then he or she has no business being in government.
2009 is the year to forget, but 2010 must be the year we Remember. Remember those who have sacrificed for us – and remember that we owe them a debt. We owe them a nation they, asleep in their graves, can be proud of.
(Mr. Noonan co-publishes Blogs for Victory)