Wednesday, July 26, 2006




We must all stand-up and be counted and never forget the lessons of history, because much too soon the lessons of man’s inhumanity begins to fade, causing us to revisit the horrors of the past. Much too soon we tend forget the necessity of remaining vigilant over a government with a natural tendency towards corruption. And too soon we forget the horrors of trusting government to do the right thing–it never does. We forget too soon the concentration camps, and the stripping of human civil rights. And much too soon we’ve forgotten the torture and humiliation of innocent people, whose only crime was that of being the wrong race, creed, or color.

Yes, we forget the rampant slaughter of innocent men, women, and children much too soon. And we forget the mass hysteria, the fear of speaking out, and of people being imprisoned without redress, much too soon. We also forget the boots, those ominous boots, which were the last sounds that people heard before being brutally ripped from the lives of those they love, much too soon. Yes, young people, we forget the horror, much too soon.

While these atrocities took place long before your time, it is nevertheless incumbent upon you to make these memories an ever-present part of your collective consciousness, because your parents and grandparents had to pay a bitter price to regain simple freedoms that they had long taken for granted. They had to pay in blood for allowing their government to spin out of control. They paid a bitter price for allowing themselves to be led rather than taking the lead; for allowing themselves to be controlled by hatred rather than compassion, and for allowing themselves to be loyal to men, rather than their sense of justice. An obscure writer of the period wrote the following:

"This stately old vessel limped weakly towards port as the rolling storm began. Voracious vermin gnawed at its rotting hull, destroying it from within. Colors that once flew proud and strong in exotic and distant lands, now flutter shamefully, tattered and worn, indicting the greed of shameless men. With cheers of fading greatness, true patriots were scorned; while demagogues were lifted aloft, and our ship of state was mourned."

So it is up to you, young people, to insure that it never happens again. We must never forget the horrors. Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Bush-- today these names live in infamy, but remember, during their time, each of these men were looked upon as heroes by many. So remain vigilant, young people, because, though try we must, injustice, infamy, and greed can never be relegated to centuries past.

And with that, let us recite The Pledge:

I pledge allegiance not to a flag, but to a united state of justice;
And to this republic, for which justice stands,
As a monument to human dignity,
And an unwavering compassion for man.


Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

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