This 88-year-old veteran salutes every U.S. flag he passes because both he and Dennis Prager know that the American flag is still worth saluting and here’s why.
I am a third-generation American, my parents and my maternal grandmother were born in Brooklyn, New York, but I didn’t know I love the America until my early twenties. In my third year of college I studied in England and began a life of travel that eventually took me to 130 countries. That was when I began to understand how important America was to the world, and still is, That was when I began to understand how unique America was, and still is. That was when I began to appreciate the decency of the American people. Being away from America for a year, spending the Christmas season in Morocco where there was no Christmas season, and ending the year with a month in the Soviet Union, where there was no freedom, this life had a life changing impact on me. I realized how lucky I was to be an American. I even realized how much I simply enjoyed being an American. I’ll explain.
One: How important America is to the world?
Without in any way diminishing the enormous sacrifices made by England and France, it was America’s entry into World War I that made the defeat of Imperial Germany possible, and ended that horrible war. It was America that made the Allied Victory possible in World War II, and kept Western Europe free during the cold war. 37,000 Americans died fighting the North Korean and Chinese communist regimes. Were it not for America, all of Korea would have no human rights and would endure the mass torture, starvation, and murder that have been routine in North Korea until today. The next time you hear the lie that America fought in Vietnam for colonialist reasons, ask that person, why did America fight in Korea? I’ll tell you why, to stop the spread of Communism, the greatest genocidal and totalitarian ideology in history, and thereby enable more than half of Korea to live in Freedom. Another 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam to enable the South Vietnamese to live in the same freedom America made possible for South Koreans. Neither Vietnam, nor Korea had any natural resources that America wanted. Americans died in those two countries solely so that their people could be free.
And, without the menacing the role of the Great British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the great Pope John Paul II, it was America that ended communism in the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria, and liberated, among other nations, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
Two: America is unique.
America is the only country that was founded not on a race, ethnicity or nationality, but on an idea, limited government. Because the founders of America believed first and foremost in Liberty. America became the freest country and world history, which is why France gave the Statue of Liberty to one country, America, and America has given more liberty and opportunity to more people from more nations than any country in world history. Yes, America allowed slavery in half of it states. But every society in the world practice slavery. What rendered America unique is that Americans killed one another in its bloodiest war to abolish slavery, and that it eventually became the least racist multiracial country in history. It remains the only white majority country to ever have elected a black leader. And Africans know how good America is which is why, by the 1980’s, more black African’s had come to America voluntarily, as immigrants, seeking freedom and opportunity, than ever came as slaves.
Three Americans are decent people.
Ask visitors what they think of America’s. They’re likely to tell you how friendly Americans are. There are mean and bad Americans, and there are kind and good people in every country, but having traveled abroad every year of my life since college, and to all 50 American states, and being sensitive to people’s goodness and happiness, I’ve been continually amazed at the essential decency of most Americans. I fell in love with America at the age of 20, and given the freedom, the opportunities, and the religious tolerance I have experienced, I realize, all these years later, that America has love me too.
I’m Dennis Prager