For years I have heard of ethnic groups that had been suppressed for generations but when the call came to defend our country, they herd this call and valiantly fought for our defense.  At the beginning of WWII over 33,000 Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps due to fears of  Japanese American retaliation.  From these Japanese Americans was formed several Infantry Battalions that made up what was dubbed the “Purple Heart Battalion” for their causalities during the Italian campaign.    And no one can forget the heroics of theTuskegeeairmen.  These men who had to deal with discrimination outside and inside the military formed one to the most successful fighter squadrons in the U. S. Army Air Corps during World War II.    And what exactly drives individuals to perform at a level far greater than normal expectations to defend its’ country.  It has to do with the fact that as bad as situations may seem to be, theUnited Statesis still the cornerstone of freedom and democracy and offers the best opportunity in the world to provide an individual with an opportunity to be rewarded for what they accomplish. As someone once said, “Our government is not perfect; but we are so much better than all the rest.”

 

Several years ago I went toGallup,New Mexicoon business.  This was in the heart of the Navajo nation. The Navajo were a proud people that had signed peace treaties with the white man to insure that they would retain tribal lands and promise not to impede the western migration of Americans.  One week end I decided to visit the Navajo museum nearGallup.  When I walked into themuseum there was no denying that the Navajo nation was not impressed with these peace treaties.  Three treaties were sitting under glass at the entrance.  The signs disclosed that these were treaties that had been broken by the Americans.  The museum housed many artifacts of the proud people along with stories of how Kit Carson had gone out and herded the Indians back to the reservations.  I felt uneasy and saddened at what I had seen and drove up into the hills and back towardGallup.

 

The day was bright and hot with a gentle wind blowing.  As I drove on I made a curve and to my shock I saw a multitude of American flags blowing in the breeze.  I made an abrupt u-turn and pulled into a small parking lot.  In front of me was an arch of metal letters that proclaimed the entrance to the “NavahoVeteransCemetery”.  I climbed out and wondered through the cemetery that was the final resting place for Navajo who had served our country.  I was amazed at how ornate the graves had been kept but was humbled by the pride displayed forAmericaby the families of the Navajo veterans.  There were young and old and there were veterans of various wars but the one common thread was that each person had served his country with dignity and was proud to be an American.

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