Celebrating Memorial Day: God Bless South Korean, Vietnam, and other Cold War Vets

Celebrating Memorial Day: God Bless South Korean, Vietnam, and other Cold War Vets May 31, 2021

Thank God for the United States that liberated so many people in the Cold War.

We remember those who died for our country in the long Cold War against Soviet tyranny and helped free Eastern Europe, while keeping South Korea, Taiwan and other countries independent. Thank God for those who tried to give the Vietnamese the same chance.

Recently I sat with a man whose uncle was sent to a camp and beaten for not having communist views. The uncle was not anti-communist or in favor of the old regime, just not willing to repeat the Dear Leader’s words. He was imprisoned for the crime of having no opinion.  He escaped. I have talked to a person who shoveled human dung in Communist camps for being religious. A friend tells me of floating in a boat out from Vietnam, nearly dying, only to be rescued by Americans. Once I sat in a monastery in an Eastern land and the abbot told me one of his predecessors had been thrown off a cliff by the Soviets. This was very matter of fact in the telling, but chilling as we sat on the edge of the cliff eating bread and honey.

As an American citizen, I am thankful for the American role in bringing liberty to so many lands.

Prayers for civil authorities and our armed forces are natural to a Christian.

Each week the Faithful pray:

For civil authorities and our armed forces, grant that they may govern in peace, Lord, so that in their tranquility we, too, may live calm and serene lives, in all piety and virtue.

We pray for peace and for those who keep the peace in a broken world. We are patriots, not jingoists, so we also pray that our civil authorities and armed forces govern in peace. We pray that even in just causes we use just means and we avoid any further unjust causes.

Our civil authorities have asked us to recollect the dead in our wars, so I do, just as I pray daily for President Biden and our state government. The United States of America is my home and so I love her the best I can, recognizing all her limitations. Not all our battles have been justified, not all our deeds good, even in a generally noble cause like the Civil War, World War II, or the Cold War. These truths are not self-evident, so also must be memorialized. Yet if it is good to recall the bad, much better to recollect the good. One such good was the role the United States played in rebuilding Western Europe and Japan and defeating Stalin and his heirs.

Standing against Stalin was much harder for America to do. Some in the academic and cultural establishment were enamored with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had been Hitler’s ally, helping destroy the liberty of several states in the process, but then his greatest foe. Yet in both political parties there was a general consensus that the Soviet Union had to be opposed and this resolve helped lift the Iron Curtain behind which so many millions suffered. If over nearly fifty years American resolve in some quarters faltered, we stayed the course and Presidents Reagan and Bush helped bring an end to that stage of our history.

To cite just one happy outcome of this victory: millions of Christians and other religious people in nations like Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Romania are now free to practice their faith. All the Faithful pray for the protection of Taiwan, freedom for Vietnam, and the eventual end of the rule of the tyrants in captive nations such as Cuba, China, and North Korea.

May the souls of all the Americans who died in Korea, Vietnam, and all over the world to defeat Soviet tyranny, one of the worst evils of this or any age Rest In Peace.

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