What’s Worth Remembering Today
We’ve got something worth remembering today.
You see, an old friend of ours owns one of the county’s largest farms. To get to his home, we turn off a sleepy country road and bump our way down a long gravel driveway. It rattles our teeth and keeps unwanted folks from knocking on the old farmer’s door.
Just before his house comes into view beyond a grassy hill, there lies an old cemetery.
It’s the kind of place you’d bury your kin if you’re in a hurry to get the corn out of the field. The small, humble plot of land seems quite pleased to serve as a reminder that death is a part of life.
Each time we pay our pal a visit, we slowly bounce by and give the dead a nod.
But there’s something spectacular that happens at that graveyard each year.
We Salute You
Right about now, it’s filled with flags… proud markers for the men who fought for the land they’ve now become part of.
Our friend isn’t sure who puts the flags there. Farmers aren’t at home to watch over a cemetery all that much. But each year, somebody braves his rough lane, gets a handful of flags out of the trunk and navigates the tombstones to put a memorial where a memorial belongs.
These are the men who fought.
As we think about them this morning, we remember a list we recently compiled. It details many of the things our boys have died for.
It wasn’t pretty.
Oh, sure, the history books paint these sorts of things with the rosiest of hues. The Revolutionary War was about freedom. The War Between the States was about equality. And the world war that turned a generation from good to great was about liberating the oppressed.
Those facts aren’t wrong.
But they don’t paint the true picture. No artist’s brush ever does.
It’s like a drug company that sells a deadly opioid. Sure, it rationalizes things by the pain its pills stop. But we bet it spends a whole lot more time studying its profits and losses than tracking the amount of pain it’s halted.
Wars are much the same.
The Crux of War
To the skeptical eye – to the eye that’s carefully studied the facts and seen humans in their most natural state – there’s a common theme in America’s wars… and all wars.
Just like all powerful beasts… it has the potential to do much good and much harm.
But as we all know, money tends to roll uphill. It goes to the men at the top… not the boys at the bottom.
The average soldier during the Revolution earned just $6 per month – the equivalent of $158 today. And that’s when the young government could even afford to make payroll.
During the Civil War, the boys up north got $13 a month, while the troops south of the Mason Dixon got $11.
In World War I, it went up to $30 each month. And by the time we stormed the beaches of Normandy, it went to $50 – the equivalent of $676 today.
Clearly, money may have been a motivation for the fighting. But for the fighters, there was a different drive.
And that’s something worth remembering today.
What’s in That Flag?
Frankly, there’s just something about a man and his country. On both sides of the battlefield, the flag is raised high and defended until its death.
Our country represents our home… our culture… our heritage… our loved ones… our businesses… and the collective spirits of everyone who has come before us.
It’s who we are.
If a person won’t fight for that, well, he’s not worth fighting for.
It brings us to an idea that’s on our mind a lot these days. As so many Americans fight to keep their jobs, their health and their livelihood, our government has become the focal point of many lives.
We tune in to the nightly news to see what the governor will let us do next… to hear what businesses the mayor will allow to open tomorrow… and to learn what drugs Washington will let us put into our bodies.
With so much attention on the elected man, there’s been some confusion.
It’s worth remembering today that government and country are two vastly different things. In fact, they’re often in opposition.
The government is the people we appoint to temporarily manage the country.
But the country is not just owned by the people… It is the people. It’s all the people – living, dead and still to come.
So is it okay to shout at the man in the office? Is it okay to march up the steps and demand something different?
Of course it is.
Our country and what it stands for should be defended against any enemy – physical or moral.
Our country is who we are. And not only is that worth fighting for… but it must be fought for.
That’s why we take a day off from our work today to remember those who fought. And it’s why we tip our hat to the men and women with flags on their graves.
They loved the country. And we love them.
That’s what’s worth remembering today.
About Andy Snyder
Andy Snyder is the founder of Manward Press, the nation’s premier source of unfiltered, unorthodox views on money and what it means for a free society. An American author, investor and serial entrepreneur, Andy cut his teeth at an esteemed financial firm with nearly $100 billion in assets under management. Andy and his ideas have been featured on Fox News, on countless radio stations, and in numerous print and online outlets. He’s been a keynote speaker and panelist at events all over the world, from four-star ballrooms to Senate hearing rooms. Today, Andy’s dissident thoughts on life, liberty and investing can be found in his popular daily newsletter, Manward Digest.