Marilyn M. Barnewall
May 25, 2009
It is obvious to me that Barack Obama has little regard for the military… and no, I won’t call him “President” until I see a real, honest-to-God birth certificate or see which nation’s Passport he used while traveling abroad as a college student. Was it American, British, or Kenyan? Neither document is difficult to produce.
He is just a young man and doesn’t seem to this old woman to be very wise… or even very aware of which citizens from which nation provided him the power he now wields so carelessly around the world.
To my European friends, I say the following:
A man who carries the official title of President of the United States recently came to your continent and made apologies for American arrogance. I ask that you accept that apology as coming from the man, not the nation. I, personally, feel no sense of obligation to offer you an apology for the energetic American entrepreneurial spirit… something about which you seem to have little understanding – which is probably why you prefer socialism to capitalism.
You have my apologies for the behavior of the man who calls himself this nation’s President. On any given day, more Americans oppose his condescending behavior than approve it. He and his wife may not be proud of America. We, the people, are.
Memorial Day is special to us. This day, Americans honor heroes who died in our nation’s service – and our European friends should honor them, too. So many American men died in service on European soil.
On May 5, 1868, General John Logan (as in Denver’s Fort Logan where my Dad served in WWII) proclaimed the existence of Memorial Day in General Order No. 11.
Graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery were first decorated on May 30, 1868.
Southern women decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers even before the War Between the States ended in 1865.
In 1873, the state of New York first officially recognized this holiday. By 1890, all Northern states recognized Memorial Day. The South honored their dead on different dates until after World War I.
It was then Memorial Day was changed to honor all soldiers who died in service of our country rather than those who died just during the War Between the States… or, as some call it, the Civil War.
Because of all the above, I found Barack Obama’s apologies to European nations for American arrogance to be particularly offensive. Arrogant men do not tread the shores of foreign nation and die for a cause called “freedom.” Arrogant men do, however, minimize such efforts… and even apologize for them. Perhaps men who have not served their nation via military service do not understand such things. Being a military man is quite different than being a community organizer, I guess.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that be true, then I offer the following 20,000 words to explain why no apology from American to Europeans is necessary.
Article continues after the pictures.
1 The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France; 2,289 American soldiers buried here
2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium; 5,329 American soldiers buried here
3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France; 4,410 American soldiers buried here
4. Brookwood, England American Cemetery; 468 Americans soldiers buried here
5. Cambridge, England; 3,812 American soldiers buried here
6. Epinal, France American Cemetery; 5,525 American soldiers buried here
7. Flanders Field, Belgium; 368 American soldiers buried here
8. Florence, Italy; 4,402 American soldiers buried here
9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium; 7,992 American soldiers buried here
10. Lorraine, France; 10,489 American soldiers buried here
11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg; 5,076 American soldiers buried here
12. Meuse-Argonne; 14,246 American soldier buried here
13. Netherlands, Netherlands; 8,301 Americans buried here
14. Normandy, France; 9,387 American soldiers buried here
15. Oise-Aisne, France; 6,012 American soldiers buried here
16. Rhone, France; 861 American soldiers buried here
17. Sicily, Italy; 7,861 American soldiers buried here
18. Somme, France; 1,844 American soldiers buried here
19. St. Mihiel, France; 4,153 American soldiers buried here
20. Suresnes, France; 1,541 American soldiers buried here
This partial count… those American soldiers buried at these European cemeteries – and that’s not all of them – totals 104,366. And then, we have Arlington and all of the other veterans’ cemeteries around America and Europe where our WWII (and WWI) veterans are buried.
Who owes whom an apology and for what? Maybe Europeans should apologize to Americans for not managing their governments well enough to avoid having to call on the United States to shed the blood of its youth on foreign soil?
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I keep trying to think of things done for Americans by Europeans… and I know I’m getting old, but it is difficult to bring anything to mind.
You tell me who is arrogant!
© 2009 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn Barnewall received her graduate degree in Banking from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Business in 1978. She created the first wealth creation (credit-driven) private bank in America in the 1970s. Prior to her 21-year banking career, she was a newspaper reporter, advertising copywriter, public relations director, magazine editor, assistant to the publisher, singer, dog trainer, and an insurance salesperson and manager.
She was named one of America's top 100 businesswomen in the book, What It Takes (Dolphin/Doubleday; Gardenswartz and Roe) and was one of the founders of the Committee of 200, the official organization of America's top 200 businesswomen. She can be found in Who's Who in America (2005-08), Who's Who of American Women (2006-08), Who's Who in Finance and Business (2006-08), and Who's Who in the World (2008).