A Veteran’s Day Tribute Part I by Vito Tomasino 11/11/2019
The American Flag is a symbol that not only represents those of us who live in a place called The United States of America, but every freedom loving human being on the face of our planet. It deserves, no, it commands the respect of all who would call themselves an American.
Tens of thousands of our best men and women gave their blood, their sweat, and their tears under its proud banner in World Wars I and II, and those fortunate enough to come home were greeted like the conquering heroes they were. Not so the veterans of Korea and Vietnam. This was especially true for the Vietnam Vets, who were literally spit upon and called “baby killers” as they got off the plane.
That has changed. In recent years, the American people have come to realize, that the men and women who fought that war were simply doing the job they were trained to do; sent there by politicians who failed to do theirs.
But what does it mean to be American? It’s not a race, or a religious sect; nor is it an ideology. What then?
It is simply an idea, an idea that every person, no matter where he or she lives on this earth has the right—and with it the responsibility—to be free to explore the limits of their God-given potential without the restraints of oppressive government.
Thanks to our veterans, the "Stars and Stripes" still waves proudly over America's shores, and continues to stand as a beacon of hope and refuge for all freedom loving people in our world.
Four years ago I was visited by two youngsters from South Korea, Sarah (17) and David (19) who, before coming back for a third “stateside” visit, pleaded with their “adopted” American father to arrange a meeting with a soldier or marine who had fought in the Korean War so they could personally thank him for saving their country from Communism.
My wife and I met with him and his kids, and what was expected to be short visit lasted three hours. They thanked me, many times, then asked a million questions: What did I do in the war? How did I feel? Was I afraid? Finally, David asked: “Why did you sacrifice so much to help a people that you hardly knew existed before the war?” A profound question from one so young. It deserved a thoughtful answer.
“America is a nation of immigrants,” I slowly began, “who came here seeking freedom from an oppressive King, or dictator…for the opportunity to forge a better life for themselves and their children. The early immigrants were the poor and destitute from Europe; followed by the Chinese and other Asian peoples. They asked for nothing more than the chance to find honest work to feed and house their families, but were not greeted with open arms; nor were they given anything free. They fought for everything they got. Nonetheless, they were in a country that rewarded hard work and perseverance. And persevere they did. Their ultimate goal was to become an American citizen, and they did.
“In that struggle for freedom—won for us by our founding fathers and later reinforced by our immigrants—the unlimited potential inherent in every human being was released. Our history, and that idea, is engrained in the psyche of every American. It’s in our DNA. America is a unique phenomenon of the ‘New World,’ a country unencumbered by thousands of years of the subjugation and oppression experienced by almost every other nation on earth. No other people on this planet identify with the plight of the downtrodden like the American people; because, not too long ago, we were them.
“So, when asked to pick up a rifle, or strap on fighter jet to help those in a little known country on the other side of the world secure their freedom, we feel a special obligation to answer the call, and welcome the opportunity to pay it forward.
"It is who we are.”
Author’s Note: David and Sarah returned to South Korea shortly after our meeting; David to begin his required two year service in the Army, Sarah, her first year of college. Their youngest sister, Esther was just beginning high school. Presently, all three are attending university. Meeting these amazing kids (I met Esther two years later) brought closure to my Korean War experience. The material in quotes above is taken from my latest book, Close Calls and Other Neat Stories. But, it was Dan’s Kids who provided me with its final chapter, appropriately entitled, The Unforgotten War.
The following essay was written in response to an e-mail I received regarding the marked increase in crimes in Australia, one year after their government forced the surrender of all weapons owned by its citizens.
We've seen this result in our own city of Chicago now repeat itself in a nation; but that won't stop the left wing liberals from continuing to push for stricter gun control, with the ultimate goal of disarming of every law-abiding citizen of our country.
Why would they persist in doing that in the face of the disastrous results we see? Are they out of their minds, or just stupid? Neither. They know exactly what they are doing. They want power, and they know that a disarmed citizenry would be forced to turn to government to protect their lives and property; which they would be happy to provide for their guaranteed vote. Hitler used this "grab for power tactic" in Nazi Germany, Mussolini, in Italy, and Mao Tse Tung in China. We have seen the results there.
Had the colonists been totally disarmed 244 years ago, we would still be ruled by a despotic king whose lust for power and treasure could never be satisfied. After risking their own lives and wealth to rid themselves of King George III, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, et. al., crafted a Constitution that provided for the creation of three equal branches of government, thus never allowing power to reside solely in the hands of one man. Moreover, knowing there may come a day when even that safeguard against despotic rule might be compromised, they added the Second Amendment, giving every American citizen the right to bear arms.
They attributed the attack on the Benghazi Consulate to a spontaneous response
by a group of people outside the gate who were peacefully protesting a YouTube
video critical of the Prophet Mohammed published almost six months before.
This was a bold-faced lie that they continued to perpetuate days
after the facts were known.
An overhead drone was streaming real-time video into the "Situation Room”
within one hour after the attack, that clearly showed it to be a planned assault
by well trained, heavily armed terrorists. President Obama, Secretary of State
Clinton, Defense Secretary Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs,
General Martin Dempsey coldly watched this slaughter unfolding before them
and just sat on their hands. Even worse, they would not allow anyone to come
to their defense, despite the fact that F-16 fighter jets could have been over
the Consulate within three hours. Even if unarmed, their show of force
might have been enough to slow the attackers down, and give follow-on fighters
time to arm and get there for a full blown close air support mission; which
may well have saved the lives of Doherty and Woods--if not Ambassador
Stevens and Foreign Officer Smith.
The Commander of the African Command was ready to send a fighting force
into the fray, and another rescue team in Tripoli was standing by. All were
ordered to "stand down" by President Obama. Even if he himself did not give
the order, he, as Commander-in-Chief, is the only one who could
have approved it.
When asked by a TV anchor why a rescue effort was not made, our stalwart
Secretary of Defense had the audacity--or was it just naivete--to say that
"We don't send troops into harms way until we know the situation"--not
an exact quote. Really? When our troops stormed the beaches of Normandy,
Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Inchon, etc., did they, or their commanders know exactly
what they were getting into? Our military is trained to do exactly that, go
into harms way to defend our national interests. Indeed, it only exists for that
These four "leaders of our nation," Obama, Clinton, Panetta, and Dempsey
swore an oath to defend and protect our country from all enemies, and to
insure that the people we send out into this world to do that are adequately
staffed and protected; our military adequately trained and equipped. They
obviously failed in that duty. Was it just incompetence, or something more?
In any case, for what they did, or failed to do in Benghazi, every
one of them should have been impeached, court martialed,
and/or tried for treason.
If not for the Electoral College Hilliary Clinton would have finished the job
of bringing this country to its knees; one that Barak Hussein Obama was
recruited to do and almost achieved. It was only because of the electoral
college that honest, hard working Americans were able to put in the
office of the presidency the only man in the 17 person field of Republican
candidates who was not only a non-politician, but had the personal
strength and determination to take on a neutered Washington establishment
Yes, he can be, and often is, crude and insensitive, with an ego the size
of the Washington Monument, but I believe he is a true patriot who
loves his country. We the people saw this clearly. We also see, that he is
getting things done in a grid-locked Washington, and has indeed stopped
our downward spiral; while the embittered Democrats are still unable to
accept the fact that Donald Trump won the election and their anointed
We owe a debt of gratitude to our founding fathers who, in their infinite
wisdom, created the Electoral College. They knew even then, that it would
be needed to give all Americans a voice in the selection of their President.
The Electoral College is essential to the preservation of our Democracy and
must stand forever. AB-186 must be struct down.