There are approximately 50,000 American casualties of World War I and World War II who are buried in France. These men and women are very significant. They died while defending freedom of speech, and ridding tyrants for war-torn Europeans.
Significant Americans have been to France and are still there. I am sure there was genuine, God fearing, liberty loving Americans in the rally this past Sunday in Paris, France. They not only represented the current administration, but all of us. They walked, along with many Europeans, for those men and women who died in two dreadful world wars.
Last week offered terrible days of bloodshed. Alarming events are catching the attention of more and more people, causing them to re-examine themselves, their communities, and their nation. Perhaps unfortunate events have awakened an indifferent and drowsy citizenry in both Europe and America to the following truth: “that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul” (See Doctrine and Covenants 134).
I think we are over-reacting to the current administration’s decision to not send a prominent leader to the rally of defiance and sorrow for the 17 victims killed in France. Americans have gloriously stood for liberty in France time and time again. One U.S. president did stand in France forty years after the battle of Normandy. He offered these words:
“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you” (Ronald Reagan, The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc Speech, 40th anniversary of D-day.
A photo opportunity doesn’t surpass the magnitude of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to stop suppressers of the soul. A rally cannot exceed the daunting heat of battle.
I think journalists, producers of news, and bloggers need to move on to the next story.