Opinion: If We Forget Our Heroes, We Will Shorten Our Nation’s Lifespan

Around this time each year, when we set aside a day or two to remember our veterans, elementary school children in a school in Washington State won’t be taught to honor those who have served our country. Instead of a Veterans Day celebration, the school will host a tolerance and peace assembly.

The gatherings held schoolwide, scheduled for yesterday this year at Benjamin Rush Elementary in Redmond, Washington, will leave out an acknowledgment of Veterans Day.

The Western Journal’s Laura Wellington writes of the school, “They decided to hold a ‘peace assembly’ on November 15 to honor the ‘International Day of Tolerance’ sponsored by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.”

KTTH radio’s Jason Rantz decried the move on the part of Benjamin Rush Elementary. “The school administration has moved strongly away from pride in our traditions and American history.”

If we forget those who served their country so we may be free, so our children may be accessible to participate in peaceful assemblies, if we ignore the legacy of Benjamin Rush, the school’s namesake — it would be a tragedy.

Benjamin Rush said once in his 1787 piece, “A Plan for Free Schools,”: “Let the children…be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education.”

It is questionable whether the children of Benjamin Rush Elementary would learn any of that today.

Regardless of the views of the politically correct, who control so much in today’s culture, including almost all education, we are free because of the individuals who served their country in uniform.

Country singer John Rich noted recently, “Many of our young people think freedom is inherited and not earned.”

Tragically, many veterans feel unappreciated by their nation, which they selflessly served. Can you blame them? Sometimes, they have long-lasting or permanent scars or handicaps because of their service.

Countless veterans suffer from depression and PTSD. According to data, 17 veterans die daily by suicide — only a single facet of the significant mental health crisis facing America.

On Veterans Day 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan said, “Let us reflect on the great achievements of those whose sacrifices preserved our freedom and way of life. With pride and gratitude, let us recall their heroic accomplishments and thank them for their unselfish devotion to duty. They are indeed worthy of the solemn tribute of a grateful nation.”

While a “grateful nation” sounds like a lofty ideal, today, we don’t seem to have anything resembling a grateful nation.

Recently, in a radio segment with Michael Reagan, the oldest son of America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan, he was asked about our nation’s current gratitude level for veterans.

“America hasn’t been taught to be grateful. They’ve been taught to hate… We have young people going to what I refer to as HateU, instead of Prager U. And they’re learning to hate America,” said Reagan.

Reagan said that is why we see many street and campus protests nationwide. It is “because they’ve been taught to hate America, to hate what America stands for, to hate Israel. They haven’t been taught to love. Ronald Reagan taught us and showed us how to love America.”

Reagan’s elder son went on to pay homage to those who served our country in foreign wars.

“Those who fought in the Second World War [and other wars] taught us how they loved America, so much that they would sign up to free a people, to save a people. We’re not teaching that today in our classrooms, in our schools, and because of that, we’re in the turmoil that we’re in.”

During the interview, Michael Reagan was asked about one of his dad’s favorite quotes, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under,” he responded, “Welcome to one nation gone under.'”

With the same declaration, a quote attributed by Lincoln noted, “A nation that does not honor its heroes will not endure.”