Every citizen of the United States owes a debt of gratitude to the brave team of Navy Seals who carried out the mission of eliminating Osama Bin Laden. As we approach Memorial Day, 2011, we should be reminded that no one does it better than the U. S. military. No one prepares better. No one executes better. And no military force on Earth exists to protect a more noble cause than American freedom.
While skillfully delivering some red, white and blue justice to the front door of the world’s most wanted criminal, the Navy Seals have provided us with a valuable opportunity to consider some intriguing questions.
When the mission was as dangerous and complicated as could be imagined, who was called upon to do the job?
When the difference between success and failure would almost certainly be life or death, to whom did we turn?
When we sought to answer for the murderous crimes of 9/11, who did we rely upon to deliver our response?
The best of the best; the Navy Seals. The most highly trained and disciplined soldiers on the planet. When the challenge was this big, we needed people this good. Imagine for a minute, what America would be like if each of us sought to follow the example of these genuine national heroes.
No we would not be firing bullets at terrorists. But imagine if we brought just a fraction of this Seal-type dedication to who we are and what we do. Imagine striving for similar excellence in how we parent our children or pursue our careers. Think for a minute how much our country would change for the better if good enough was no longer good enough.
Instead of lowering our expectations we raised our aspirations. Personal ambition was rescued from the jail of dirty words. Imagine Americans racing each other to embrace personal responsibility rather than seeing who can run the fastest from it. And I know this is a long shot, but imagine being a responsible parent taking your kids to McDonald’s for an occasional, well-deserved treat, maybe as a reward for all A’s on a report card? Wouldn’t that be a refreshingly adult alternative to blaming Ronald McDonald for America’s obesity binge?
So thank you Navy Seals, for what you do and how you do it. Thank for you giving us the chance to question exactly what we do and how we do it.
Thank you for reminding us that excellence is a function of dedication, and that failure breeds in the absence of it. And thank you on the eve of this Memorial Day, for reminding me of how proud I am to be a responsible, patriotic American.