WASHINGTON -- America is at war. According to the latest opinion polls, that is not what many Americans want to hear as we celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday. Our political "leaders" don't want to acknowledge this war. Our media do their best to ignore it. Most of our society, businesses and industries are removed from it. What little manufacturing remains in this country turns out products other than those used by our soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines. Our allies largely abandoned this fight long ago, and our entertainment industry openly mocks and condemns it.
The fact remains, however, that America is at war. Even those who turn a blind eye to reality cannot ignore the fact that radical Islamists want to be at war with us. Thus, it is so.
It was on Oct. 3, 1863, in the midst of the bloodiest war America ever has fought, that Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation "to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." After I visited several wounded Marines in the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., this week, it struck me that too few of our countrymen will offer thanks for the remarkable young Americans in harm's way this Thanksgiving.
Here are some others for whom we should be grateful -- and who serve with little or no credit:
Doctors and nurses, corpsmen and medics: Thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines are alive today because of the courage, skill and advanced medical treatment employed by these specialists. From the battlefield to stateside hospitals, there never have been lifesavers better than these.
Chaplains: While the medical professionals heal the body, chaplains minister to the soul. War is hell on earth, and it can lead a person to the Lord as easily as it can test the strength of his or her faith. In covering our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, I've seen countless times when chaplains have helped battle-weary young Americans make sense of that which doesn't.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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