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Our freedoms are in jeopardy

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

What does the Fourth of July really mean to you? Do you know,or even care, about what we are celebrating. Or is it just a great day for a party and a parade? Every time you shoot off one of those bottle rockets, do you think about the freedoms we enjoy in this country or are you maybe hoping the neighbors won't call the cops on you for your illegal fireworks. Then again maybe, it's just a little civil disobedience - meant to show your heart's in the right place - but remember you have the freedom to do that in this country. Or maybe, just maybe, you do recall what it's all about and you don't want to ever forget. I hope and pray your heart's in the right place.

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Yes I know, it's hard to work up that patriotic fervor we once had in this country. It's been a long time since we signed the rules of surrender with a country that had tried to conquer us. I personally stood on the deck of that battle ship where it happened last spring in Pearl Harbor, and it was a solemn moment for me. I could feel the presence of General Douglas MacArthur as he accepted the Japanese surrender on that day of Sept 2, 1945.That great battleship, the Missouri, is now moored overlooking the watery, oily grave of the crew of the battleship Arizona where it all had started. Symbolically it's the alpha and the omega. Big Mo's huge guns, now silent; cast a solemn shadow over that sacred spot as if to say to those brave men interred there, "We taught them a lesson not to mess with us." There have been many wars since that day that we have participated in, but none ended like this, with a final resolution. The ranks of those World War II veterans, from this country that fought their way across the pacific and into Germany, on their way to the fall of Hitler and Berlin, are fast disappearing; as is their country's pride they fought so hard for, earned and paid such a heavy price for.

We don't fight wars to win anymore. We fight politician's wars with rules that are crafted to prevent anything more than a tie, tip-toeing around in the world's court of public opinion. Truth be told, a couple of them weren't even a tie and we got the short end of the stick. Yet, our brave soldiers go fight in these countries with one hand tied behind their backs and come home either dead or physically and mentally maimed, never tasting victory and more often than not, scorned by the people who never wanted them there in the first place. I think before we go to war again - unless we are attacked - the rules should be, we raise taxes and pay for it right now and the gloves are off. If we're going to commit to sending our soldiers off to war we should pay for it, not our grandkids and we should fight to win it, or stay out of it.

I really believe that the freedoms we celebrate on the Fourth of July are in jeopardy but not by other countries so much. This country is on the way to ruination and it's not going to be a war that does us in. It's going to be us that will do us in. For you see those rules we once had drawn up, as the blueprint for a great society, are being manipulated and litigated to pieces by greedy people who have the money to buy off greedy politicians who have the power to change the rules and they are fast doing that. As we celebrate this Fourth,, let's remember those who stood for what was right in this nation and let's not desecrate their efforts - their memory - by allowing our country to fade away, just another great society, torn apart by greed and selfishness.

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