Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse Of The Day
- Memorial Day
- The meaning of Memorial Day
- Freedom doesn't work without standards
- A Reader Writes Back...
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV
I hope you’re enjoying a safe, fun Memorial Day weekend, and remembering the real reason behind this day: to honor those US military members who gave their lives to secure our freedom to enjoy simple pleasures like cookouts and trips to the beach.
I also hope you watched our very special Memorial Day episode of “Huckabee” on TBN this weekend. If you weren’t able to catch it, go to http://www.huckabee.tv for excerpts. The full episode should be posted soon.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll watch my opening monologue about Memorial Day and how my grandson Huck learned that the real superheroes don’t wear capes, they wear uniforms, flight suits and battle fatigues.
And please watch this tribute to two heroic veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Woody Williams and Bert Mulligan. I promise, you’ll be glad you did.
By Mike Huckabee
Once a year, on the last Monday in May, we set aside a day to honor our fellow Americans who made the greatest of all sacrifices so that the rest of us could continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty and security.
Memorial Day was born after the Civil War, when families would take a day to tend and decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers. It soon spread to the North, and became known as Decoration Day. Eventually, it became a national holiday to honor all American military veterans who gave up their homes, their families, their very lives -- everything they had, or ever dreamed of having – all in sacrifice for their country. And just how many have made that ultimate sacrifice? Brace yourself:
From the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812, the Civil War and Spanish American war, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other wars, police actions and rescue missions around the world since 1776, over one million, three hundred and eight thousand Americans have died in uniform.
Imagine if all those soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen could come back to life for a Memorial Day parade. Picture them marching past in rows of ten, each row taking just 10 seconds to pass. That parade would stretch on and on, row after row, 360 rows per hour, for hour after hour, 24 hours a day, for over 15 straight days. That is the enormity of the military casualties America has experienced since 1776. That doesn’t even include the millions more who sacrificed their limbs, their sight, their peace of mind, and the best years of their lives, all for us.
Make you realize just how ignorant and slanderous it is to claim America's history is built on slavery, racism and selfishness instead of freedom, compassion and sacrifice.
Today's military members, like those before them, risk their lives to protect the cherished American principles of liberty, equality, democracy, fighting tyranny and defending the weak. Previous generations guarded these bedrock principles so that they could be passed down to us. It is now our sacred duty to preserve them for future generations.
Every year, the American Legion sells poppy pins to support veterans and their families. May 22nd was National Poppy Day this year (https://www.legion.org/poppyday). I hope you bought one and are wearing it proudly. The poppy became the symbol of Memorial Day, thanks to the famous poem, “In Flanders’ Fields,” by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae. He wrote it in memory of his friend Alexis Helmer, whom he watched die in battle in World War I.
The poem starts, “In Flanders’ fields, the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row…”
Read the poem. It's very short, but it still conveys a powerful message of the depth of those soldiers' sacrifice and the debt we owe them all.
The pandemic is waning, but there are still fewer group activities than usual available where we can gather to show our support for veterans and our gratitude to those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. But we can all proudly fly our American flags. And we can offer support to some of the many great veterans’ support organizations, such as the VFW and the American Legion.
Another great new organization with an especially timely mission is Code Of Vets, founded by Air Force Veteran, Gretchen Smith. She and a staunch supporter, the late Charlie Daniels, once appeared on “Huckabee” on TBN to talk about the group’s efforts to provide support to veterans struggling through the pandemic. You can learn more and donate at http://www.codeofvets.com. It’s tax-deductible, and with their 1% operating costs, you can rest easy knowing that 99 cents of every dollar given goes directly to help veterans in need.
And of course, one more thing we can all do from wherever we are is to stop for a moment and think of all the rows and rows of crosses in veterans’ cemeteries…say a prayer of thanks to them…and remember that each and every cross represents a genuine American hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
McCrae’s poem ends, “To you, from failing hands, we throw the torch. Be yours, to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders’ fields.” If you really want to memorialize these greatest of American heroes, then take up the torch they passed to us. Hold it high. And NEVER let it drop.
The meaning of Memorial Day
By Mike Huckabee
With the lockdowns winding down in most states, many Americans are chomping at the bit to get out of the house and go to beaches or parks to celebrate Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer. But let’s not forget that Memorial Day means far more than that. It’s a day set aside to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to provide for us the unprecedented freedom that we so often take for granted as Americans.
In a premium story in the Epoch Times, veterans talked about the meaning of Memorial Day, and all of them made it clear that it isn’t about them, but about their comrades who never made it back home. As one put it, “Veterans Day is for those who survived and retired. Armed Forces Day is for those who are still serving. Memorial Day is reserved for those who never got to take off their uniform.”
Despite the distortions of America’s history that so many people want to force into our schools, the fact is that no people in the history of the world have experienced the liberties, opportunities or prosperity that we have enjoyed as citizens of the greatest country on God’s green earth — the United States of America. I don’t say that as a biased American, but as one who has traveled the world and who can scour the pages of human history and say definitively that no nation has ever given its inhabitants the degree of freedom, security, and pursuit of happiness as has this extraordinary experiment in government called the United States.
Our Constitution is a simple, yet profound, blueprint for a government in which the ultimate power rests with the people and not with a king, a tyrant dictator, a military general, or even an elected official. The genius of our nation is that the people have been vested with the highest power, and while we temporarily grant it to those we elect, we don’t give it away (even during a pandemic.)
This great system of self-government with its separation and balance of powers and its accountability to its people has been and continues to be protected against both foreign and domestic threats by those who trade their clothes of choice for a uniform and who trade their personal liberties to accept orders from someone who outranks them.
In the process of providing that protection, in wars and other police actions over more than two centuries, more than one million of those in our military have given their lives for those of us who will enjoy this long weekend. No American should take this for granted nor ignore it. It shouldn’t be left to the Gold Star families alone to take a pause for a somber reminder of the price of our benefits of citizenship. We all owe it to them to show respect in some way for those whose deaths gave us our lives.
This year, May 8 was the 76th anniversary of World War II’s VE Day (Victory in Europe) and August 15 will be the 76th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan.) While most of the commemorative events last year and this were canceled due to the pandemic, parents should use the Internet to teach kids at home about VE Day and VJ Day.
For kids who’ve heard derogatory comments about the military, these anniversaries are a golden opportunity to teach them that the rights, freedoms and comforts they enjoy were paid for with the blood of patriots: over a million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. To cite just one war alone, many people today unconscionably water down the meaning of the term “Nazi” by hurling it thoughtlessly at political opponents.
This Memorial Day, especially in light of the shocking rise of anti-Semitic attacks by those who are ignorant of what World War II was about, please teach your children about the real evils of Nazism and the tens of millions who died because of it. And fly your flag and give thanks and prayers for the 16 million Allied military members – over 405,000 of them Americans – who heroically gave their lives to stop it.
Freedom doesn't work without standards
By Mike Huckabee
We hear often these days that society shouldn’t have any absolute moral standards. Imposing standards is oppressive, judgmental and outdated. Like Linus and the Great Pumpkin, it doesn’t matter what we choose to believe, as long as we’re really sincere in believing it. Well, pardon me for pointing it out, but that’s…well, stupid (sorry, Linus!)
There are all sorts of absolute standards to which we adhere. A rock band might be filled with nonconformists, but they can’t each play in whatever key they feel like. You might concede Hannibal Lecter’s sincere belief in cannibalism, but you wouldn’t go to his house for dinner. It seems counter-intuitive, but freedom can’t work unless we all agree to abide by certain basic standards of right and wrong. When we step outside those boundaries, chaos ensues, as we’re seeing right now with blue city officials allowing leftwing extremists to ignore laws, seize public property or smash monuments and statues, just because they feel like it. That can leave a bad taste in your mouth, and I’m not still referring to Hannibal Lecter. I like to illustrate the concept with a story from the days when my own kids were young.
When my son John Mark was only 12, he decided one day to bake a cake. My wife Janet and I returned home and were greeted by our son, proudly offering ol’ dad the first taste. Well, it looked good, and I was already preparing some fatherly praise as I took that first bite. But what came out of my mouth wasn’t words. It was the cake. It was so awful, I had to spit it out. My first thought was that my son was trying to kill me for the insurance.
As soon as my tongue overcame its shock, I asked John Mark if he’d used a recipe. He said he had, and he’d followed it to the letter. Well, except that he didn’t know what a “dash” of salt meant, so he decided a cup of salt should be enough.
Now, my son worked hard on that cake…he had the best of intentions…and he sincerely believed he’d done a good job. But hard work, good intentions and sincere beliefs meant nothing once he decided he could make up his own measurement standards. That’s literally a recipe for disaster.
Freedom can’t exist in a moral vacuum. It makes some people uncomfortable to hear this, but without clear boundaries of right and wrong, the very concept of liberty breaks down. A person might argue that he should be free to look at pictures others find offensive. But if it’s pornography featuring a child who’s being exploited, then there’s more at stake than just the liberty of the viewer. There was a big controversy over separating children from parents who crossed the border illegally, but very few people brought up the facts that the parents chose to bring their children along as they knowingly violated federal immigration law – or that (as a pilot DNA test program proved) in many cases, those weren’t even their parents but people illegally exploiting children they weren’t related to.
Self-government can’t mean each of us lives by our own unique set of rules. If that’s how you define liberty, then you’re just going to get less of it. When people live outside the boundaries of a principled and agreed-upon moral code, it inevitably leads to government that’s bigger and more intrusive (and an avalanche of lawsuits), just to force people to do the right thing. And if it doesn’t, then society quickly spirals into anarchy. Neither prospect is acceptable.
If you think more lawyers and bigger government actually improve society, or that doing away with laws and police is a good idea, then I have a delicious cake recipe I’d like to sell you. Then again, no…selling people a recipe for disaster would definitely be morally wrong.
A Reader Writes Back...
Thank you for your newsletter. I may not read every word but I scan it all. I don't know how you have time to do this but it is definitely a light in the dark tunnel in which we are traveling through this neverending bumbling, stumbling fantasy world of democratic faux leadership. Thank you.