Mary Sharpe


Remembering honorable men

As a child in the 1950s I remember the bomb drills in which we were told to hide under our desks to survive an attack that was imminent from one of our many enemies.

It was indeed frightening, especially because we lived near several military bases that could possibly be targeted. Our biggest looming enemy was always Russia. We were taught to fear them. We were told to expect an attack by them at any moment that would be prefaced by a “big boom” and then a mushroom cloud as we watched from under our desks.

But we were also told not to worry because we had honorable men standing watch and they would protect us. And we believed it.

After all, our fathers had just a few years before come home from fighting and defeating the bad guys in World War II. Some, the lucky ones, had come home whole. These men were able to shut the door on that part of their lives and return to a country of peace and prosperity. Others had left a part of themselves on the field of battle, either physically or mentally. And still others had paid the ultimate price that our country had demanded to secure our way of life, never to return to the open arms of their mothers and fathers or to the embrace of their wives or girlfriends. Their hands had last held a gun in service to their country, instead of returning to rock the cradles of their sleeping children. Honorable men. These were ordinary men, who when the time came, rose to the occasion.

It takes courage to defend your country. These men are marching in a long line of

other brave Americans who have gone before them. In places like Yorktown, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Vietnam and Korea. In fields and on beaches. In frozen forests and flooded rice paddies.

Americans were there, defending our democracy.

They raised their hand when they were inducted and promised to protect and defend their flag and their country — an oath taken by all who enter our military service.

The same oath is taken by privates and generals, congressmen and presidents.

I have always been proud to be an American. I haven’t always agreed with everything that my country has done, but I never doubted that we were in good hands because we had honorable people leading us.

There were generals and governments officials that were standing watch so that we all could sleep safely at night.

Imagine my dismay when hearing recent revelations that General Mike Flynn was secretly being paid to pass along information to foreign governments. This has shaken me to my core, shattering my lifelong, childlike belief that we were led by honorable men.

These men took that same oath.

They raised their hand and swore to serve our country and then reached out with that same hand for 30 pieces of gold, the price of betrayal.

He has betrayed our country.

Betrayed the memory of those proud and honorable men who fought and bled and died for our country. We expect them to be honorable.

No less honorable than the rank and file. Should we expect more of our soldiers, the ones that actually carry the guns, than we do of our leadership? Did these generals expect more of their men than they were willing to give themselves?

As we celebrate Memorial Day in honor of our heroic past, our fallen men, those brave and honorable men who have served on the battlefields all over the world, let each of us take an oath to be honorable ourselves.

To stand up for our country in her time of need against these less than honorable men, both foreign and domestic.

In the memory of our fallen ancestors and those who are serving today, it is the honorable thing to do.