Seven Decades Ago
2:29 PM, Sep 5, 2013 • By HUGH HEWITT
The United States cannot walk away from the convulsions in the Middle East, from the agonies of children gasping for breath in understaffed Syrian hospitals, from the fact that the Syrians who are decent and moderate fear not only the butcher who rules them but the killers invading their land to replace savagery with savagery.
It is an incredibly difficult and complicated situation, one that grows worse with every day of inaction and is compounded by every display of fecklessness from a president who has given a whole new definition to the word feckless.
“There was no use in saying ‘We don't want it; we won’t have it,’” Churchill proclaimed, and the Harvard of 1943, already marched off to various killing fields knew that. The names of all of those fallen from December 1941 through September 1943 are now on the walls of the Memorial Church, joined by the names of all who had attended the university from its founding and now through the most recent wars, but the audience didn’t need a memorial to know the truth of what Churchill was saying.
Cheating scandals and the soaring costs of tuition are important things. There’s nothing wrong with an uplifting bit of “Climb Every Mountain” in a commencement address. Indeed, Julie Andrews herself gave a memorable one at the University of Colorado this year.
And there is no room for or need of Solzhenitsyn gloom, and such pessimism can be self-fulfilling.
What is needed is a little resolve. A lot of resolve actually. And Churchill’s remarks of 70 years ago is a good place to begin to rekindle such resolve.
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