News & Commentary

Welcome to the News & Commentary section! We feature the latest news from around the world. Our commentary is provided by Brett Kottmann’s Reality Hammer: trenchant commentary on politics, history, economics and other issues of the day.

Check out our featured column below. Looking for another article? Check the archive for other columns.

A Thank You For Veterans

Written May 30th, 2004

On December 7th, 1941 the United States of America was attacked, without warning, by the forces of Imperial Japan. Soon after, the other Axis Powers of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy joined Japan and declared war on the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were killed and wounded in that war making sure that this nation survived, and that its citizens would live in peace.

Only a few years after WWII ended, the Korean War began, and once more Americans gave their lives by the thousands to ensure peace. Around the world in times of trouble, in places like Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and the Balkans Americans have and will continue to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure not just peace for America, but peace around the world.

To the brave men and women who have served their country I want to say thank you. Thank you for risking your lives so that this nation remains free. Thank you for putting up with the problems of living a life in the military, even if only for a few years. Thank you for going around the world to suppress evil and for spending time away from your family and loved ones.

We build monuments and memorials to remember the fallen. We do this not only to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, but as a reminder to those who come after us that freedom is not free. Sometimes freedom comes at a great cost.

We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.

—President Ronald Reagan, Normandy, France, June 6, 1984

It is this capacity for sacrifice that makes this nation great. Some nations fall into a defeatist funk, questioning whether anyone can really do anything to prevent evil, or stop it once it appears. Others seem to think that their time to lead the world has passed, and it is up to other nations to shoulder the responsibility of making the world safe.

As an American I am proud that we did not follow that route after winning the Cold War. While some, even in this nation, called for the almost total elimination of our armed forces and for this country to adopt a go-along to get-along foreign policy others rose up and said that we will not go quietly into the night. We will rage against the dying of the light. The United States of America still stands for freedom and liberty, not just when the road is easy, but also when the road is fraught with peril.

Today we are engaged in another great struggle against evil. At some point in the future people will visit memorials to the fallen of this war and think about the sacrifices made so they could be free. As we think about the veterans this holiday weekend, think about that chain of sacrifice stretching back into the past and leading on into the future. Our freedom is secured by the fallen. Our friends and neighbors, our relatives, our comrades in arms.

To them, and the ones who will follow in their footsteps in the future, I say thank you.

Thank you for protecting us, for making sure that this nation remains free, for making sure the world is free of evil.

The Great Communicator

Everyone can use some of President Reagan’s Words of Wisdom.

Of the hundreds of speeches that President Reagan gave, we are proud to offer this modest (but growing) selection.

In the mainstream media there is a serious lack of recognition for the great words of President Reagan. From the admittedly political omissions of President Reagan from Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to the tendancy of the mainstream media to focus on the lighter side of President Reagan, there is a concerted effort to make people think that President Reagan did not have anything of substance to offer.

We proudly offer an alternative source of Reagan material and invite you to make up your own mind! From speeches early in his political career and his days in Hollywood, through the White House years and into retirement, President Reagan has left a vast legacy for posterity.

Reagan’s Greatest Speeches

From the President’s Farewell Address:

And that’s about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the `shining city upon a hill.’ The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.