The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the need to prepare for and remember the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. In approximately three weeks, our nation will honor the nearly 3000 people killed when Islamic terrorists attacked our nation. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of this heinous act, is dead, but the war against terrorism continues.
I encourage you to be prepared to turn this anniversary into a repeat of the day when our nation was turned red, white and blue by the many flags flying in the breeze. Please make sure that your flag is clean and in good repair and that you understand the proper treatment of the Stars and Stripes.
Another way to prepare for this anniversary is to let your Senators and Representatives know that national security is of high priority to you. National security was decreased during the administration of President Bill Clinton, and our nation was attacked months after he left office. We now have another President and his supporters who want to cut our defense budget. It seems to me that they do not understand the simple fact that people who want to destroy our nation usually attack us when our defenses are down.
Our Founders understood that we must be militarily strong. President George Washington fought for the cause of liberty and risked his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor fighting for American independence. He wanted peace, and he knew that "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
Benjamin Franklin was of the same opinion and wrote: "The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for 'tis a wise and true saying, that `One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.' The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent."
Franklin said later, "Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth, that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; thence it will soon be thought proper to treat us not with justice only, but with kindness, and thence we may expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us; unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as tame as those in the eastern dominions of Britain [India], when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying 'Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.'"
Thomas Paine said, "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
After the terrorists attack on 9/11, our nation put important policies into place to protect us. America has stopped at least forty-one attacks in the past ten years. This type of vigilance has saved lives and must continue because there are still enemies who want to attack us. Matt Mayer of The Heritage Foundation wrote the following just days after bin Laden was killed: "In terrorist hideouts across the globe, many men with similarly warped views are eager to become the next bin laden. They know the path to that title lays in successfully attacking us domestically and causing substantial death and destruction."
There are brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day in order to protect Americans. They must have the necessary equipment, supplies, and support in order to do so. Our President apparently does not take the situation seriously because one of the results of the debt ceiling battle is a policy to cut $500 billion in our defense budget.
In the words of Baker Spring at Heritage: "… the policy established by the debt ceiling law will strip the military of its ability to secure the vital interests of the United States. The law, unless it is altered or repealed, will do irreparable harm to the United States military.
"History has repeatedly shown that these kinds of reductions in defense are penny wise and pound foolish, because they often serve to increase the likelihood of conflict. And weakness that invites war is much more expensive than deterring our enemies by maintaining an adequate defense budget all along."
Our wise Founders understood the necessity of maintaining a strong military, and wise men and women today still understand this fact. We can honor the victims as well as the heroes of 9/11 by staying prepared to defend our nation from all enemies - foreign and domestic. President Ronald Reagan understood the need for military strength when he stated, "Peace through strength." We must remain vigilant and prepared!