Courage. Honour. Dignity. The Words Speak For Themselves.
“The security of our nation depends on the men and women
who are willing to sacrifice their safety, and possibly their lives, to protect the freedoms the rest of us enjoy.” – Ben Nelson
Thirteen NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan today by a suicide bomber. This brings the total to just over 450 who died in Afghanistan defending the innocent from those who would oppress them. Tragically they are only some of those who have died in defense of what they believed in. They like those who have and who continue to serve, put themselves in harm’s way to help others achieve the freedom we have. They serve with honour. They serve with courage and they serve with dignity.
These are words that nobody connected to the Occupy protests understand.
There is no honour in Occupy, merely self-aggrandizement. There is no courage, merely the empty bravado of a mob and there is no dignity, just selfishness.
I haven’t seen whining tweets from the men and women who serve in the armed forces of their countries. I don’t hear them shouting accusations and looking for excuses to justify their existence. They have no need. They have stepped up. They put their lives on the line each and every day. They overcome their fears in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves and they serve with a quiet pride in themselves and their colleagues because they know they are the first line of defense for those who cannot defend themselves.
They bring hope to those who are oppressed. They help others win the freedom from oppression that most of us will never have to experience and they understand the meaning of the words honour and duty. They are ordinary people who do heroic things every day.
Occupy has stolen the language of war to enhance the image of its protest but they haven’t earned that right. Having tents torn down and equipment confiscated is not the same as being shelled by artillery and rockets. Rubber bullets are not the same as real bullets and flash-bang crowd-dispersal noise makers are not the same as grenades and mortar shells. It takes no courage to face law enforcement ordering you to disperse. It takes nothing but courage to face an enemy who wants to take your life with suicide bombers, roadside bombs and the weapons of war.
People have the right to protest their government but Occupy is not about protest. It is a self-indulgent rabble with no respect for the rights of others. It is a mob of poorly informed, self-righteous hypocrites who cheapen our democracies and demean the sacrifice of so many who gave their lives to guarantee that we would live in freedom.
We are a free society and there is room even for those who are incredibly stupid and who abuse the rights we all share. I resent what they do but it is not them I am ashamed of.
I am ashamed of those who have allowed this squalid imitation of an exercise in democracy to continue.
I am ashamed of that handful of politicians who have voiced cautious support for Occupy in the hopes it might save them at election time. I am ashamed of those bright lights that never bothered to inform themselves about the issues and their underlying causes before shouting out slogans they barely understand. I am ashamed (although not surprised) by those celebrities and others in the public eye who dropped by for a photo op without regard for what they were doing and who have already gone back to their estates and the next cause. I am ashamed of municipal governments that don’t have the courage to defend their cities and its citizens from a squatting rabble.
But most of all, I am ashamed of all those citizens and media who have chosen to ignore Occupy, who have not bothered to follow what they are saying and what they are doing. I am ashamed of them for complaining about the protests over coffee at work but do not speak out to defend their communities.
We get the government we deserve by not bothering to inform ourselves when we vote and we are getting the disorder and disruption in our cities we deserve through our apathy. What offends me most is that it cheapens the meaning of the lives that were sacrificed to provide us with the rights we enjoy. I am ashamed of that most of all.
Men and women from democracies all over the world have served, and continue to serve, our democracies with honour, with courage and with dignity and too often with their lives. It is shameful that we do not have the same courage or the dignity to honour that service by how we use the freedom they gave us.
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