The Friends of the National World War II Memorial recently announced the charity had received a $2-million grant that will allow the inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer on the memorial site.
We comfort ourselves, saying, “This is not who we are.” But without deeper reflection, such pat answers are lies, strengthening the “vulgarized knowledge” that allow us to ignore the chasms that threaten to consume us.
Christmas alone is perfectly congruous, for Christmas brings to the surface those imperishable values for which men in all this struggle of power are really groping. It focuses men’s thoughts, at least for the moment, upon the secret of ultimate power.
Reinhold Niebuhr in 1945: “For only a full understanding of the practically insuperable difficulties which confront us can arm us with the humility and the courage to seek for a solution of this problem radical enough to prevent the annihilation of civilization.”
There is no more dismal aspect of human history than the behavior of victors. However just their cause, they never fail to cast doubt upon its righteousness by the manner in which they exploit their victory.