Montag, 27. Mai 2013

Der Gedechtnisdaag

It is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a time to remember all those who have fallen for the United States since the country's inception in 1776. The Deitsch have a long tradition of fallen heroes and young men who were torn from their homes in order to fight for greater causes.

War is a complex being. Whether a war is justifiable morally is a matter of perspective.

The Revolution, which caused much anxiety for many Deitsch, who had to decide between oaths taken to the British Crown and the need for Colonial independence, brought about the Great Experiment that is the United States.

The War of 1812, which serves as the end-point of the migration that gave rise to the Deitsch nation, is considered by most to be a justifiable war of defense. 

The Civil War brought an end to the horror and moral outrage that was slavery. However, it also began the whittling away of states' rights and started the centralizing and bloating of the federal government.
Also, the 1860's were a difficult time for the Deitsch in the Confederated States of America. Most Deitsch were rabidly anti-slavery (which was seen in the first abolitionist protest in Philadelphia in 1688. However, the cause of states' rights and the defense of one's home caused many schisms in Deitsch families, particularly those with Northern and Southern branches.

Some of the subsequent wars can be seen as wars of American colonialism. From the Spanish-American War (1898), the US gained the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico from this war. Ironically, it is that act of colonialism that has resulted in a later reverse colonialism of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and a noticeable demographic change to the largest Deitsch cities. In addition to all that, a telephone tax that was levied to help pay for that war was finally cut off in 2006 -- 108 years after that war. Ridiculous.

World War I was really not the first war considered to be global in the Deitsch folk consciousness (the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) was the major trigger for later migration to the Americas). The build-up to World War I included, as a result of deteriorating relations with the German Empire, deliberate attempts to destroy the Deitsch culture. The Suppression, which was really an effort to make the Deitsch culture appear backwards so the next generation would assimilate, began in 1911 and continued well into the 1970's. Echoes of it remain even today. Many Deitsch soldiers perished in that war in American units despite having their culture and language ridiculed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Go figure.

World War II witnessed a new kind of horror in the evil of the Nazi regime. Hitler's odious actions were rivaled and exceeded only in the Japanese actions in Nanking and in Soviet Union against anti-communist dissidents. The soldiers who gave their lives for the causes of liberty and freedom in this war helped to prevent further loss of millions of lives. Ironically, the stain of Nazi Germany somehow tarred many Deitsch soldiers, even though they were not "German" and had no connection to Nazism except for fighting against it!

Subsequent wars are not always morally clear. In many cases, the soldiers gave their lives for noble causes that were not matched in the actions of the politicians in Washington. Many of the principles for which our ancestors fought have been diminished or destroyed by the overreach of the state and (especially) federal governments. Political expediency always seems to trump virtue. However, Washington's slimy actions must not re-define the hearts and minds of the soldiers who gave their all and their everything.

So today, please take a moment to think about the liberties that we have and the liberties we have lost. Recognize that many men (and now women) have given their lives -- all they were and all that they could have been -- for these liberties. The best way to honor the fallen is to take their principles into our hearts and to be the best and most vigilant citizens we can be.