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WHAT SHALL WE PAY FOR FREEDOM?

November 11, 1918 ended WW1 and Armistice Day celebrations began and still
continue for these 91 years. Veterans were honored and welcomed with open
arms as they returned to civilian life. Young men and boys committed themselves
to protect and defend our Country preserving the freedoms we possess. They
endured severe hardships in a foreign land fighting from trenches filled with waist
deep water, slogging through deep mud during freezing rains. They overcame
lack of training and inadequate equipment to prevail against numerical odds and
a fanatical enemy. They brought back victory and inspired patriotism at an
exalted level. They are all gone now . . . those boys born at the end of the 19th
century. And many paid the price for our freedom.
A new band of brothers born at the beginning of the 20th century too soon
entered the battles of WW2 fighting a similar cause and a familiar enemy. Most of
us were touched by the call of family members and close friends to wage the war
to end all wars. This battle was fought with new powerful weapons that reached
into the major cities of Europe creating massive destruction and civilian loss of
life. Millions of lives were lost on all sides and from many countries. My personal
connection to this epic struggle was the loss of my favorite Uncle wounded in the
Battle of The Bulge. This athletic young man, with a shock of blonde hair and a
perpetual smile, enlisted as I would have expected from this “down home, All-
American, patriotic Texas” background. He was proud of his uniform, his
assignments, his training, and the country he served. As I study his photograph
in full uniform equipped with high boots and tight-legged breeches, I see this 22
year old man ready for protecting me and our Country from evil. His subsequent
deployment to Germany and assignment on the front lines in the Argonne Forest
was exactly where he wanted to be. The counter offensive of the German Army
overran his position and he only survived his serious wounds long enough to
return home, living for a few weeks. I miss him terribly today and am proud of his
service. His memory prompts me to tears when I see the courage of the young
men and women of today as they volunteer to protect and pay for our freedoms.
A friend from my church, Brian, was hired by a civilian contractor in Iraq
and worked for two years building and repairing infrastructure paid for in the most
part by the United States. They built power plants, water services and medical
facilities in some of the most dangerous parts of the country. The reports upon
his return are encouraging and enlightening about the entire situation. He
describes the Iraqi people as kind, peace loving, and desirous of a better life. The
violence is created mostly by outside influence and insurgents from surrounding
countries. Brian’s team built a 40 bed maternity hospital and quickly all beds
were occupied. A letter soon arrived from Al Queda naming all Iraqi employees
and warning them to not return to work with threat of harm to their families. A few
days later a bomb laden vehicle was driven into the building and destroyed the
entire facility. This enemy is real and is a serious threat to peace loving nations
around the globe.

Brian was often working in cities where insurgent influence remained. He


reported that on one occasion he ventured out with a five-man Army combat
team and they were fired upon. Instantly one young soldier threw Brian on the
ground and covered him with his body while the other four ran directly and
fearlessly toward the incoming fire. These are the young men and women that
are serving our Country as a volunteer Army. They 19 to 25 years old with the
same concerns all young people have. They are worried about family at home, if
young brothers are using their car, if girlfriend or boyfriend is faithful, but when
duty calls they respond as the patriots they are. They skilled, equipped, and
committed to the service of our Country and we must be proud. We need to
honor every contribution of each military person representing our Nation. I intend
to acknowledge and pay my respects to each young person in uniform that I
meet. They are paying for our freedom.
Today's war is unlike the previous two world wars and other conflicts we
have experienced. Needless to say it is still a war and likely the most dangerous
we have faced. The evils of terrorism can hardly be described and cannot be
defeated with only the weapons and tactics of the past. Negotiations and
politically correct response to actual and potential threats are useless. We cannot
discourage the enemy by appeasement, by tolerance, by passive reaction to
potential threat. The typical schoolyard bully understood that response as a
weakness to be exploited. How much more does the American University trained
enemy see the openings presented by our liberal diversity policies. They are
skilled, intuitive, deadly, and committed to our destruction. They can only be
discouraged and defeated by an aggressive common sense policy of firm resolve
of appropriate intolerance. Putting my personal anger aside for the moment, I
cannot understand the existence of a Major in the US Army bearing all the
obvious signs of a 9/11 terrorist. The investigation will certainly confirm my
criticism but no wonder these signs were overlooked or tolerated. The reaction of
the Media and most politicians and journalists was appalling. Most hesitated to
repeat his Islamist name and most tried to deny the possibility that his ideology
was the motivation. Gen. Casey’s concern was that negative affects on diversity
in the military might be a greater tragedy than the killing of 13 Americans.
Diversity is not a sacred cow. Racial tolerance is most often gained by the
attitudes and actions of the minority.
Religious conflict is more difficult for me to understand. I was born into a
rather fundamentalist Pentecostal family and easily acquired the customs and
beliefs of the organization. The preaching’s were consistently about God, family,
country with patriotism was right out there on the altar with the rest. Serving God
with the reward of eternal life was a given and we were sure we had the inside
track with our understanding of the commandments. We did have our bias
however, and looked at the Catholics, Baptists, Church of Christ, with a certain
air of superiority. They were all close to the truth but too far away to allow
ecumenical fellowship. Actually we were discouraged to even enter a Catholic
church and certainly didn’t agree with the infallibility of the Pope. The differences
were too large to allow tolerance even to the extent that a Catholic might actually
qualify for heaven. Better understanding of the bible and the exchange of spiritual
ideas have overcome much of this attitude with the clergy and the congregations.
We all jointly agree to accept the diverse understandings of the scripture while
attempting to live our lives as a testimony of our faith to others.
Since the United States of America was founded as a Christian Nation and
remains so today these differences among the believers of Christ have been
mostly reduced to the politics of those in leadership. Our nation has welcomed all
races and they have brought with them certain religions that are not Christian in
origin but freedom to worship those religions is a right given by the founders of
our nation.
Sadly, Major Hasan exercised that right to use his chosen religion as a
motivation to murder 13 individuals as he declared his god to be “great”. His
criminal act is not properly described as a tragedy. It is an act of treason, criminal
in nature, and speaks to the nature of the religion he worshipped. Putting my
anger aside, I cannot accept the deference given to him by associates and
superiors because of the fear of violating the racial barriers put up by the weak
backboned liberal thinking of our government leadership.
I have concluded that Islam bears the responsibility for the criminal chaos
that is circling the globe. They protect and harbor the violent element that exists
among their ranks and we look for ways to excuse that behavior. If Islam is really
a religion of peace then let the rank and file join their leaders and prove it. They
should purge their ranks of all extremists and force them to operate under a
different name and banner. I am skeptical that this will ever happen therefore I
choose to consider them all an enemy until proven otherwise. Lets remove them
from the ranks of the military, lets monitor the attitude and message coming from
the Mosques, lets restrict their access to our universities, and offer them all a
safe exit from our shores.
They have declared plans for future control of most European countries
and our country is also on the agenda. Their leaders have acknowledged world
domination as a reachable goal and the process is well under way. I am
convinced that a global conflict between the Christian world and Islam is a
foregone conclusion. We should not wait for “Pearl Harbor” to repeat. Major
Hasan at Fort Hood fired the warning shots and we must heed this ominous
signal. Yes “God” is great but his goodness was trampled by this needless act of
criminal behavior. This criminal lives but our President was right saying he will
face justice in this world and in the hereafter. I would like to see the surprise on
his face when he meets the creator of the universe and finds he was worshipping
a caricature all along.
Freedom certainly isn’t free and the price continues to escalate. The
counterfeit exchange of tolerance, appeasement and passive, lukewarm
resistance some of our leaders seem to be offering does not meet the real price
of freedom. Recognize the enemy of our souls where he stands. Resist and he
will flee!

Gene Hall