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Excerpts from “No one was saved.” Memorial Day, 2016. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Available on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2rvixKP
This day, Memorial Day, can be summarized in just a few words: liberty,freedom, self-determination, to enjoy the fruits of one’s labors, to praise God, each in his own way, and work together. It is a day for acute remembrance and to remind ourselves of fundamental truths we have
neglected and forgotten. It is a day when we recall how much has been done for each and every one of us, by the sacrifices of so many, and for
the great world beyond.
But today, I feel like Father McKenzie, in the Beatles famous song, “Eleanor
Rigby” (1966). The lines read as follow:
“Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt from his hands
as he walks from the grave, no one was saved.”
We live in a time when the community that was and should always be
America and its Great Republic is unraveling before our very eyes. We
look at the institutions of our government, and we see their increasing
flaws, and imperfections. We see our leaders diminished daily, by their
picayune concerns and language obscene, divisive, focusing on minute
political gain, instead of the great interests of our much diminished
Nations and peoples which once craved the American dream, now carp
at every aspect of our national affairs, and international mission. We are
dismissed, we are demeaned, we are insulted, and we are perplexed by
the contumely. Where did we go wrong?
We look in the looking glass, and what do we see? We are old, we are
tired, we have seemingly lost control. Our borders are infiltrated by people
who do not want our ideals, but only our wealth and our services, and who
take what we give; and no one is happy or better off. It is a dismal picture,
and all because a single word has evaporated from our national agenda:
We all say we will sacrifice to achieve what must be achieved. We all say
we know the need for sacrifice. We all proclaim that we’ll be the example for
our friends and neighbors, but it is just so many words, so many promises
made, so many promises unkept.
Can we go on like this? And if we go on like this, what terrible retribution will
there be for all that we had, and all that we carelessly lost? This is the reality
of Memorial Day, a day for remembering. So let us then remember.
Remember a nation, which saw far, and worked not for momentary gain, but
for long term measures of great consequence and worth. People saved today
to perfect tomorrow. People did their bit because by doing one’s bit, success
was ensured for all. We were not just a great nation, we were a great
community, the leader of an expectant world, where working together was the
preferred state of affairs. And together, we achieved miracles.
The contents of this book will move you. They advance the hard questions,
and review the hard realities. These chapters are not afraid of the harsh and
bitter truth; that we sacrificed far too many men and women in endeavors which,
at their outset, commanded the high rhetoric so obligatory in our wars and
national undertakings, but which in the event made these words an
They show how often these sacrifices failed, failed miserably, failed
completely… because we have lost our national purpose and vision, and now
detest each other, dismiss each other, disdain each other, and say to
ourselves, that is the way things must be for this America. But that is not so.
Think of this single outrage. I saw a picture in the newspaper some time
ago. It was a Pepsi-Cola sign in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, which my
generation knew as Saigon. We sacrificed some 58,000 men and women
to end up flaunting this beverage, a symbol of the nation. It made
me angry, so terribly angry, to think of all the pain, of all blood that was shed
for nothing, and for naught, to place such a sign so.
As I write today, the world is engrossed for a moment, by the latest hijacked
airplane, captured by terrorists, plunged by their suicidal command
into the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. We arrange our affairs so that
we tolerate murderers, and protect their rights, when their rights reign death
and destruction upon all of us. They care nothing for our rights, nothing for us,
and nothing for our sacrifices.
There is no clarity today. No general agreement… just acrid, futile, gyrations
which allow us no time or energy to recapture what made the nation great,
and what we said upon sending our best and brightest to early deaths. The
greatness of a great nation and its great purposes around the Earth is now
We can treat this Memorial Day merely as the unofficial opening of our
summer expeditions, and frolic accordingly, or we can use this day of
history and sad realities to re-instill in ourselves the urgent need for
regeneration and thorough renewal. Will our situation be that of Father
McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear, no one
comes near? Is this truly our destiny?
Are we so far gone, that this is now the best we can expect of ourselves,
or can we still call from deep within our collectivity, the will, the
determination, and the vision we must have, for that is what Memorial Day
should be about. Recognition of the past, and determination for the
future, for destiny is never certain, and may always be influenced for good
or ill by those who are the most determined.
Let this day, then, be about remembrance and rededication, both essential
if we are to rise again as the great nation we have been, the great nation we
must become again, the great nation that America must always be.
God bless America!
Dr. Jeffrey Lant
From the Blue Room
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