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News & Politics News & Politics

American Exceptionalism

Posted by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM
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1 mom liked this

 

This is a view of the American Cemetary in Epinal, France.  It holds the graves for over 5,255 American military, most of whom died during the campaign through northeastern France to Germany, in World War II.

I was able to visit there with my family over the weekend; it is just an hour or so from where we live.  We looked to be the only ones there, and took our time walking quietly, and reading the names and inscriptions.

The cemetary is more than 45 acres at the feet of the Vosges Mountains.  Outside are rolling hills and dense forests, but inside is a landscape of carefully tended graves and landscaped lawns.  It feels like a peaceful, rippleless pond in the midst of a choppy sea.  Combined with a thick, protective wall on the far border, it's as if the designers tried to represent the rest and peace we hope are accorded the dead, after the hell on earth they experienced in war. 

As I looked as the names on the wall of the missing, I wondered how long this memorial will be there.  How long will there be a cemetary gaurdian, how long will the graves be tended? Will people be able to tend to this place as long as people live?  And if they are able, will they still want to maintain it in respect and reverence?

I don't know, I just deeply believe that it is important to remember these people, and the events of war.

In Paris, L'Arc de Triomphe marks the roundpoint at the top of the famous avenue, the Champs Elysee.  It is enormous, and was originally built under orders of Napoleon.  Now it is a national memorial for France's wars.  A couple summers ago I was there with a friend, and I translated to her this inscription, the radio address made by Charles de Gaulle from London once he had fled the German invasion of France.  France had just been split into two, between the German-occupied North and the unoccupied South.  He said, in part:

"The leaders who, for many years, have been at the head of the French armies have formed a government. This government, alleging the defeat of our armies, has made contact with the enemy in order to stop the fighting. It is true, we were, we are, overwhelmed by the mechanical, ground and air forces of the enemy. Infinitely more than their number, it is the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans which are causing us to retreat. It was the tanks, the aeroplanes, the tactics of the Germans that surprised our leaders to the point of bringing them to where they are today.
"But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!
"Believe me, I who am speaking to you with full knowledge of the facts, and who tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us victory one day. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of the United States.
"This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France. This war is a worldwide war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day. Vanquished today by mechanical force, in the future we will be able to overcome by a superior mechanical force. The fate of the world depends on it..."

 

 

The US ensured that France and our other allies were not vanquished, that they were not left alone.  And after the war ended, the US did not claim Germany or Japan or any other country, in fact we extended aid so they could rebuild their nations, and they are indeed two among the strongest and productive countries in the developed world.

As a general result of the treaties and agreements after World War II, America is still a major military strength in shipping lanes and elsewhere in the world.  Frankly, I do think that eventually other nations should become independent of American protection, but for now, they are not.  The strength of these United States is still a vital force in the modern world, the world still depends on American exceptionalism.

 

Thoughts?

 

The most pressing social issue today is the economy

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by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM
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Replies (1-6):
godotherightthi
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM
1 mom liked this

 The world does depend on us...and if not us, who?

Jambo4
by Gold Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

BUMP!

jcrew6
by Jenney on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM
1 mom liked this

What we have seen in Libya, This is what happens when our "leader" is too appeasing and apologizing.  While he was busy bragging about killing Bin Laden, they were planning this.  Obama blamed a movie? Who is Obama going to blame when the Bin Laden movie HIS administration worked with Hollywood in creating is released?  The killing of Bin Laden won't piss off Al Qaeda?  This president HAS TO GO.  He has failed us. 

A commando style attack of 100 Al Qaeda and the like occured in Benghazi and the Obama Administration's responce FAILED this nation. 

jcrew6
by Jenney on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM
1 mom liked this

We needs American Leaders who believe we ARE the best.  A leader who has pride in being American and pride in all that Americans can accomplish.  We are exceptional.

Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:18 AM

 I truly do love other countries, I live in one!  However, it is still clear to be that America has a unique and important role in this world.

Ideally, it would be best if one day American leadership was not so important.  How that were to happen, however is critical.  America's leadership should only diminish because it's just not needed, not because it did not lead when it was needed.

The most pressing social issue today is the economy

Visit Mitt Romney for President, CafeMom Group

JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM
1 mom liked this

 I've visited the cemetery at Omaha Beach.  It was such a moving experience. 

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