Remember why we’re independent

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within all of us throughout our lives
July 4, 2017
Lafourche Parish Booking Log – July 5
July 6, 2017
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within all of us throughout our lives
July 4, 2017
Lafourche Parish Booking Log – July 5
July 6, 2017

I hope the 4th of July holiday was peaceful except for fireworks, and I am thankful to have lived through another one, assuming this column gets to press. I hope that some time during the day, a little patriotism managed to slip into your thoughts and you remembered what this holiday is all about.

There are great moments in history that are commemorated with songs like, “Over There”, “Remember Pearl Harbor” and and “The Soldier’s Last Letter.” We Cajuns remember the last letter more because it was recorded by Ernest Tubb in the middle of our greatest tragedy, World War II. Today, I ask you to join me in remembering.

Slogans also remember great wars. What about, “Remember the Maine,” from the Spanish-American War. Or, “Remember the Alamo,” (We all know that one). To me, I think the Fourth of July also has a slogan – “We, the People Day.”

I had my share of patriotic moments in my career. I wrote a few war songs, recorded by Vin Bruce and others titled, “Je Laissay mon couer,” as well as “A Letter from Viet Nam” and “Dear Mom,” which were soon forgotten like the wars they were written about.

I felt patriotic yesterday and I thought you might, too if you recall with me some things about our country. I won’t preach. Like Joe Friday said, “Just the facts, mam.”

Growing up, we only subscribed to the paper on Sunday, for the funnies, so it surprised us one day when my dad brought one home with the headline taking up the top fold of the front page spelling “WAR!”

I knew about wars from history, but little did any one of us even suspect what this one would mean or how it would affect and change the rest of our lives. It also ended the Great Depression and made the United States the greatest super power in the world, but at a horrible price

The next day as I got to school, there was a great hustle and bustle as all the students were being gathered into the then Golden Meadow High School auditorium. There had always been a radio which was a high piece of furniture in the front, but now it had been placed in the middle of the stage and Principal Leonard Miller stepped forward and addressed us.

“Today is a historic moment and I want you to hear as President Roosevelt, in a few minutes, will tell us about it, live from the nation’s capital,” he said from what I recall.

So for a few moments, let us share a few minutes of patriotism as we reminisce how a great government with a great leader can pick itself up from the ruins of a great depression, join the nation together, produce the greatest armory in history, while also fighting and winning for democracy the greatest war in history. I was there. I heard it live.

This is not political history! This is history – period. It happened this way. Whatever your political views are and whether you like it or not, what is happening today is history – whatever the outcome, it will be our history.

This whole column is classified as an opinion piece, but it is up to you to decide what is and what isn’t. I have voted for many candidates for office from President of the USA to local lawmakers and law enforcers. I won some and I lost some. I liked some and some I did not, but I always respected the title and the person holding it. Should we not all do so? Can we survive if we do not? That outcome will also become history.

Now back as the radio boomed out from the stage:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

“My fellow Americans. Today, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…” Those famous words boomed. “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”

It always brings a “frisson” to my skin. For you folks not from here, a “frisson” means a chill. This is not a political opinion, but a historic fact that President Roosevelt united this nation and saved the world for democracy. I always remember him on this day and I hope you’ll think about it – especially with the holiday we are celebrating.


Leroy MartinLeroy Martin Column