The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 11, 2012

Veterans Day, the tie that binds

NORMAN — The old Christian hymn “Blest Be The Tie That Binds” refers to a bond which unites believers in a common faith. On Veterans Day, we recognize another bond, a bond of patriotism that should always bind Americans together as a people.

One of the fundamental foundations of a sovereign nation is the maintenance of a standing military, which at the very least defends the country against attack. In our history, our civilian-controlled military has often gone far beyond this most basic function to come to the aid of other countries and peoples threatened by evil forces they were unable to resist by themselves.

Unfortunately, our world has been and remains a dangerous place, and all too often, members of our armed forces are called upon to risk their lives to fight aggression against ourselves or others. We are not all expected to perform these dangerous tasks. It falls to the military to go into harm’s way or stand ready to do so. Just as police and fire personnel perform similar tasks domestically, when the military is called, it is they — not we — who go.

The American military, of course, is not just made up of branches and subdivisions. It is composed of individual men and women with families back home. It is the loved ones of these families back home who have been and will continue to be called upon to face danger on our account and on behalf of people of other countries. All of them are part of a shield of protection, and some pay the ultimate price to protect us, protect our way of life and protect others around the globe.

That there have been controversies about U.S. military activities only tells us that military intervention is and should be a matter of great debate. That there have been dark pages in our history only tells us that countries, like people, are not perfect. It is, however, overwhelmingly true that American military power has been a monumental and indispensable force for good in the world for a century.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014