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Truly one of the greatest letters of the civil war. Ballou’s eloquence is timeless, deeply romantic, and ultimately speaks to the spirit of the resolute American ideals of freedom and sacrifice. God Bless our troops now, and to all that have served this country these past 235+ years.
Y’all are, of course, more than welcome. But for me personally, in hindsight, its more of an embarrassment than an honor.
There is a disconnect between the honor of service, and the justness of the cause. Thank you for your service anyway. Never forget that it is an honor- even when fighting in a war ordered by the dishonorable who sit in the halls of power instead of joining in the sacrifice of the battlefield.
I certainly pray for our troops and in the spirit of Christ I also pray for our enemies who fight against the US to save their countries from American domination. I served in Vietnam as an REMF (thank God) and while I’ll rejoice at any prayers on my behalf, I really don’t see what anyone should thank me for. I thank God that he spared me from death or injury, but most of all I thank him that I never had the opportunity to kill one of my fellow human beings. I also thank him for the wisdom of old age to set aside and repent the belligerence of my youth. The US and Vietnam get along fine now and that could have happened much sooner without the slaughter of millions taking place.
I, for one, thank those who served and paid the ultimate price. Those who don’t wish to be thanked, I more than gladly honor the request. But as my son asked, if all of our wars are wrong, shouldn’t we not thank or honor anyone who fights in them? He does have a point, though only if he believes everything we did was wrong. Otherwise, thanks is appropriate for this day. And to those who appreciate it, thanks.
That is such a powerful, poignant letter. Were it not for men like Sullivan Ballou, America today would be a fragmented country, perhaps little more than a brief historical anomaly.
War might be “wrong,” but sometimes it’s the only answer to the actions of dictators and tyrants. I’m not very objective when it comes that though, being the daughter and mother of soldiers. To them and all others willing to set aside their personal freedom and bear arms on behalf of the United States, I say THANK YOU.
If it were not for men like Sullivan Ballou, I’d be speaking Chinook Wawa today.
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