Monthly Archives: November 2014

Thanksgiving Day Down the Memory Hole

We can blame consumerism and an increasingly secular culture for diminishing the importance and impact of Thanksgiving Day. The hard Left is committed to destroying the last vestiges of America’s traditional, Judeo-Christian heritage. This holiday season is no exception.

The Pilgrim Hall Museum website provides a wealth of information on the Pilgrims and on Thanksgiving. They also provide the text of every Thanksgiving Proclamation.

From its conception and birth, America was inhabited by a religious people with a reverence for God. They trusted in God’s Providence and frequently gathered together formally for celebrations of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day traces its roots back to the Pilgrims who, in 1621, gathered together to celebrate a bountiful harvest.

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Colonists and, later, Americans offered celebrations of Thanksgiving to their Creator and Provider. (President Lincoln’s proclamation of 1863 is provided at the conclusion of this column.)

Political Correctness and Historical Revisionism

Beginning with the Sixties’ countercultural revolution, patriotism and piety began to be looked on with suspicion and disdain. Just as the counterculturalists dispensed with traditional values and mores, so, too, they discarded love of country and love of God.

Thus, they eventually transformed a thanksgiving celebration from one which thanked God to one which thanked the Indians.

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In the interests of being politically correct and inclusive, Education World now offers suggestions for teaching young students, suggestions which actually diminish the celebration of Thanksgiving Day.

One suggestion – “Provide knowledge about contemporary Native Americans to balance historical information.” – does nothing to edify students about the actual subject matter and why Thanksgiving became such an important historical and contemporary holiday. Rather, this suggestion detracts from our Judeo-Christian roots and the significance of this foundational event in our nation’s history.

Another suggestion bluntly discourages an historical reenactment of the Pilgrims’ story: “At Thanksgiving, shift the focus away from reenacting the ‘First Thanksgiving.’ Instead, focus on items children can be thankful for in their own lives, and on their families’ celebrations of Thanksgiving at home.”

Just as Christmas trees have been replaced by Winter Festivals, so, too, the revisionists would like to replace Thanksgiving Day with a generic, non-religious, ahistorical Harvest Festival.

This week, the New Yorker published a Thanksgiving Day caricature employing a Redskins motif. Of course, the caricature trivializes the holiday it parodies even as it nationalizes the controversy over the Redskins team name – a name most Indians favor. (Most people understand that Redskins is not used as a pejorative, but rather as praise.)

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But political correctness is the new totem of the revisionists, and it must be given due homage.

The degradation of America’s Judeo-Christian cultural origins continues without regard for their importance and, consequently, undermines the social, political, and spiritual fabric of our nation.

Recall the reverent words from My Country, ’Tis of Thee: “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride.” That reverence remains extant in much of the nation’s heartland. Let us hearken back to the middle of the Civil War, when a nation – both North and South – revered God and had grateful hearts.

President Lincoln’s Proclamation

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”

“In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.”

“Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.”

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 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. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

Ferguson in Flames

The world erupted into flames last night – or at least that portion of the world known as Ferguson, Missouri.

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Rioting and vandalism all in the name of “justice.” Justice?

I think not.

Truth eludes these rioters and their supporters. Emotions prevail over facts and reason. Propagandistic lies have been accepted as truth.

And violence ensues. Innocent people hurt. Property destroyed.

In the name of “justice.”

For these rioters, “justice” means acquiesce to their race-based agenda and endorsement of their perceived racial grievances. “Justice” means assuaging guilt by emotion. (Why are we guilty for their behavior?)

And the indoctrination by the mainstream media continues unabated.

But, blacks are not victims of a fictitious “institutionalized white racism” and presumed “white privilege.”

Some blacks are victims of a fifty-year-old War on Poverty and a welfare state which has become the new plantation – created by Democrats who treat them as children. The paternalistic state gone awry.

The welfare statenot white racism – has created generational poverty, generational broken homes, and a cultural of dependency justified by allegations that blacks are victims of white racism and the legacy of slavery.

Consequently, perceiving themselves to be victims, many feel entitled to whatever they can get from the government, becoming dependent upon that government. With it, comes rage against the injustices they perceive have been perpetrated against them. And with that comes a culture of irresponsibility.

Victimhood, entitlement, dependency, irresponsibility.

We can add jealousy and greed; jealousy of what others have and greed for what they don’t have.

Many have bought into the propaganda espoused by Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, MSNBC, and other liberal media outlets. They have become caught up in the emotions, trapped by the alleged racial grievances. They are despondent or enraged.

(Anyone looking to Sharpton for leadership deserves to be deluded.)

Some people sport “I Am Mike Brown” shirts, actually identifying with a thug who, while on drugs, attacked a police officer after robbing a store.

As for the police, they have been cowed by the racial grievance industry and fear of the rioters. The police have adopted Obama’s pretend-you-have-balls strategy against aggressors, refusing to respond to the rioters, the vandals, the looters, the arsonists, those who urge violence, and those who perpetrate it.

Perhaps Eric Holder was right. Perhaps we are a nation of cowards – for not speaking up against the Eric Holders and Al Sharptons of this world and for not speaking the truth about the dysfunctional black community.

The dysfunctional black community (or any dysfunctional community of any race or ethnicity) must address its dysfunctions from within. It is culture, not race. Change the culture and you will change the outcome.

Don’t blame whitey. Take responsibility. Root out bad behaviors. Inculcate good behaviors.

Reward right behaviors and right values. Disincentivize bad behaviors and wrong values.

Return to traditional values and Christian mores. Be proud and grateful to be an American.

And please – pleasereject Obama’s big government, paternalistic, race-obsessed, socialistic “solution” to problems he and his ideology created in the first place.

Update:

Every single investigation into the Ferguson shooting – including the exhaustive federal Justice Department investigation – exonerated Officer Wilson and determined that the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot narrative was a lie.

Even though this false racial narrative – this myth – has been proven false, many media, political, and cultural elites continue to promote this false narrative and attack those who expose it as a fraud.

That false racial narrative plays into the fears of those who are race-obsessed or who have been indoctrinated into believing racial stereotypes, which is ironic given they accuse others of racism.

Top Ten Obama Lies on Amnesty

Apparently President Obama still thinks that Americans are stupid. Like Jonathan Gruber, he continues to tell lie after lie with his own unique brand of Orwellian propaganda. We’re on to you, Mr. President.

[From Conservative Review]

Daniel Horowitz presents ten lies from President Obama’s amnesty speech:

Amnesty

Lie #1: Every President has Taken Executive Action on Immigration.

Lie #2: Illegal Immigrant Crossings are Down.

Lie #3: It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently.

Lie #4: Only 5 Million.

Lie #5: Deport Felons.

Lie #6: Don’t deport families.

Lie #7: They have to pay taxes to stay.

Lie #8: Background Checks.

Lie #9: Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border.

Lie #10: Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger.

I’m Black: Truth Does Not Matter

The race war imposed on Ferguson, Missouri,[1] is emblematic of how racism pervades the modern-day civil rights movement as led by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and other race-mongers,[2] aided and abetted by the mainstream media.

How does Sharpton – with all of his exposed lies, perpetrated hoaxes, unseemly scandals, and revelations of dishonesty and corruption – have any credibility as a leader?

Does a movement with Sharpton as leader have any credibility in its own right?

Sharpton

The “Black” Experience

Al Sharpton and his acolytes speak of the “black experience,” which only “legitimate” blacks (e.g., non-conservative blacks) can experience. (Conservative blacks like Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, and Mia Love are phony blacks in their eyes.) Even some conservatives fall for this false dichotomy between alleged “black” and “white” “experiences.”

As I’ve addressed in the past, there is no singular “black experience.” What experiences do blacks from Jamaica, Haiti, Harlem, Detroit, and Liberia share?

If by “black experience,” one means impoverishment in ghettoes, overrepresentation within the prison system, broken homes, teen violence, poor education, and the like, those experiences are the result of liberal policies and programs which are race-based, not colorblind.

(They are not the result of the “legacy of slavery” or “institutional racism.” Those fabrications by the Left ensure a compliant constituency and lucrative income.)

Thomas Sowell, a scholar who happens to be black, has written exhaustively, publishing a myriad of books and articles which provide well-researched analyses on race, culture, economics, education, and related topics. Sowell has demonstrated, through demographics, history, and logic, that there is no such thing as a “black” or “white” experience.[3] Rather, culture is the key.

The Human Experience

Race hustlers like Sharpton speak of a non-existent “white privilege,”[4] dismissing the notion that hard work, personal responsibility, and integrity can benefit people of all races and classes. Employing identity politics can be profitable, but it actually victimizes those it ensnares even as it erodes the very fabric of America’s civic society.[5]

What works for “White America” can work for anyone of any race or background.

Instead of playing the victim in an obsession with the black experience, the focus should be on a shared human experience, as we are all created equal in God’s image. That was the premise and promise of America. The self-evident truth of our common humanity and our common endowment of human rights by God (not government) can free people to experience their full potential.

Empowerment, not entitlement.

A number of notable black leaders, such as Bill Cosby, Jason Riley, and Bishop Earl Jackson, have emphasized the cultural forces within much of the black community which lead to the various dysfunctions addressed above. Those cultural factors include family, education, values, responsibility, religion. Note: these are non-racial.

In many urban communities, intact families (once termed nuclear families because they were the nucleus of the community) have been largely replaced – generationally – by single-parent ones. Those broken homes often create broken people.

Some cultures (such as Jamaican) with a strong emphasis on family prove more successful than those (e.g., Detroit) which have become enmeshed with the oppressive paternalist government known as the welfare state.

Similarly, those cultures (e.g., Korean) which stress hard work, personal responsibility, and pursuit of educational opportunities lead to stronger families and more successful offspring.

Those families and communities which are spiritually oriented and regularly attend church are more likely to have intact families and promote those positive values which lead to success (both financially and spiritually).

In contrast, dysfunctional families and communities tend to fall into unsuccessful patterns of behavior and to adopt negative perspectives and emotions. Consequently, urged on by leaders like Sharpton and the mainstream media, some people have adopted a victim mentality and a sense of entitlement. Being “victims” thus “entitles” them to freebies from the government. Freebies which enslave them to the government.

This has largely developed due to a welfare state which was created fifty years ago to address those very concerns and which has only exacerbated them. In their efforts to alleviate poverty and suffering, progressives have only succeeded in making matters worse.

Snapple “Slave Ship”

Progressives use the racist meme incessantly, with their propaganda often prevailing over actual facts. Targeting the emotions of people they can hail as victims of a racist society gives them a constituency and provides them with an income, but it does little for their targets and it harms innocent people, corporations, and consumers.

Indeed, their lies corrupt the culture, society, our civic institutions, and the free market.

As just one example, I vividly recall the controversy over Snapple’s “slave ship.”

A Boston investment firm invested in Snapple and, therefore, its label incorporated a photo of the Boston Tea Party. In the early 1990s, rumors arose falsely claiming it depicted a slave ship (not a clipper ship). The company was forced – based on a lie – to change its label![6]

Their defamation of Snapple was presumed factual because the company caved to public pressure, and the myth of institutional racism was thus “corroborated.”

In this instance (as in many others), deliberate propaganda met with willful ignorance to vilify a legitimate enterprise and reject truth.

Not “Obama’s America”

America has proven its character and the astonishing strides she has made in racial relations over the fifty years. Indeed, an extraordinary number of non-black Americans who voted for Barack Hussein Obama – twice!

Whereas, Obama views America has fundamentally flawed and in need of fundamental transformation,[7] most Americans know better. Having given Obama many chances to prove himself, America recently rejected his entire agenda.[8]

Still, Obama and his administration continue to support those race hustlers who foment division, promote spurious racial grievances, and seek to increases entitlements as a form of reparations – all of which hurt those they purport to help.

America deserves better.

Update:

Every single investigation into the Ferguson shooting – including the exhaustive federal Justice Department investigation – exonerated Officer Wilson and determined that the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot narrative was a lie.

Even though this false racial narrative – this myth – has been proven false, many media, political, and cultural elites continue to promote this false narrative and attack those who expose it as a fraud.

That false racial narrative plays into the fears of those who are race-obsessed or who have been indoctrinated into believing racial stereotypes, which is ironic given they accuse others of racism.

Endnotes:

[1]       See “Ferguson: Justice, Race, and Reason” at http://t.co/ksowFPCx62.

[2]       See “Ann Coulter Takes on the Racial Grievance Industry” at http://t.co/YgG2rpgZIc.

[3]       See Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture: A World View, Basic Books, 1994. See also Thomas Sowell, “Race, Culture and Equality,” at http://www.tsowell.com/spracecu.html.

[4]       See “Guilty of Being White” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-17.

[5]       See “Identity Politics Is the Problem” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1l.

[6]       See http://www.snopes.com/business/alliance/snapple.asp.

[7]       See “Obama’s America – Fundamentally Flawed” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-1h.

[8]       See “GOP Triumphs Despite Voter Fraud” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-59.

Obamacare’s Orwellian Birth and Inevitable Collapse

Obamacare was born in ideological sin and is destined to die a catastrophic failure just as every socialist endeavor deserves to experience.

Orwellian constructs were crucial to foist Obamacare on the American people.

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In retrospect, the truth is obvious. But, in his legendary dystopia, 1984, Orwell described a system of propaganda techniques which work to serve the purposes of Big Brother, the ruler of a totalitarian, centralized, bureaucratic big government controlling every facet of the lives of its subjects.

From the beginning, the Obama administration promulgated a series of Big Lies: if you like your insurance/plan/doctor/hospital/etc., you can keep your insurance/plan/doctor/hospital/etc.

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Newspeak ruled the debate. Is a penalty a tax? Can the government require its citizens to buy a product – Obamacare – that it does not want? How are individual and employer mandates operative in a free society?

Doublethink was essential to get people to believe the impossible: that millions of more people could enter the system and receive better care at a lower cost despite adding layer upon layer of additional bureaucracy.

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Gone down the memory hole, the debacle that was Hillarycare in the 1990s. Also dispatched to oblivion, the high quality of American health care and the poorer quality, higher cost, and rationing of socialized healthcare in other nations. Further, the abject failures of centralized planning and socialized governments worldwide wherever implemented were either forgotten and ignored.

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But – as this system invented and implemented by elite central planners who glibly and arrogantly think that they know better than American citizens how those citizens should live their own lives – now, that Americans are experiencing the effects of Obamacare, they don’t like it.

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Resources:

Alyene Senger, “Ten Broken Obamacare Promises,” Heritage Foundation, 12/18/13, at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/12/10-broken-obamacare-promises.

John Hayward, “Grubermania continues: it’s awesome how Ted Kennedy ripped you off, isn’t it?” Human Events, 11/14/14, at http://humanevents.com/2014/11/14/grubermania-continues-its-awesome-how-ted-kennedy-ripped-you-off-isnt-it/.

Democrats in Denial

Many Democrats are shell-shocked and in denial. Some deny the GOP wave even took place. Others cite an anti-incumbent mood for their losses. Or low voter turnout. Or the off-year election phenomenon. At heart, all of these excuses deny the fact that Americans have decisively rejected President Obama’s policies and his vision for America.

Obama’s radical, anti-American, anti-constitutional, and socialistic transformation of America into his utopian vision of a centralized, egalitarian government is, finally, reaching its high-water mark, soon to be defeated by the American people. (If only the GOP and all freedom lovers have the courage and stamina to stand true to principles.)

Wave

Obama’s Disaster

Prior to the election, President Obama famously boasted, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”

To the disgruntlement of many Democrats, Obama insisted: “The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. … These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me.”

But after the election, Obama denied any repudiation by the American people of his policies or agenda. Indeed, he even implied that Democrats would have won if more people had voted. (Sorry – not really sorry – but it was a Republican rout.)

Obama said, “To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.” (Yes, he is telepathic as well.)

Spinning Out of Control

In total denial, the President of the United States and leader of the Democratic Party claimed, “The American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now.” Except, of course, each of the last four elections was unique in its own right and in the messages conveyed by the electorate.

Obama asserted that Americans “want us to get the job done,” and that bipartisanship is the order of the day: “All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment.”

But what does “getting the job done” mean? Obama’s misreading of this election’s “tea leaves” suggests he needs to get another job. Americans want a reversal of Obama’s policies, not a bipartisan preservation of them.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also contributed to the White House spin, saying, “The message from voters is clear. They want us to work together.”

Once again, Americans placed Republicans – not bipartisan leaders – in charge.

Obama’s Messiah Complex

An intriguing, unreported, aspect of Obama’s post-election speech reveals his innermost child: Savior of the world. Obama said,

“We had this incredible privilege of being in charge of the most important organization on earth, the U.S. government, and our military, and everything that we do for good around the world. And there’s a lot of work to be done to make government work better, to make Americans safer, to make opportunity available to more people, for us to be able to have a positive influence in every corner of the globe the way we’re doing right now in West Africa, and I am going to squeeze every last little bit of opportunity to help make this world a better place over these last two years.”

Yes, Obama thinks the United States federal government is “the most important organization on earth,” and that he himself is tasked with being “a positive influence in every corner of the globe” in order to “make this world a better place over these last two years.”

The last time I checked the Constitution, the role of the President is relegated to doing what is best for United States citizens, not nebulous, non-existent “citizens of the world.”

Besides, Obama has already failed at his own self-proclaimed global mission, having helped the world go up in flames.

Pelosi’s Plight

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi totally rejected reality in her own post-election analysis, asserting,

“I do not believe what happened the other night is a wave. There was no wave of approval for the Republicans. I wish them congratulations, they won the election, but there was no wave of approval for anybody. There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us.” (Sorry – no, not really sorry – but the GOP made historic gains across the country at every level of government.)

Pelosi also mirrored Obama, blaming the electorate for not voting for Democrats:

“We have to engage people in voting again. Two-thirds of the electorate did not vote in this election the other night. That’s shameful.”

Also in denial, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, ever the true believer, claimed, “We know we’re right on the issues. The American people believe in the causes we’re fighting for.”

If true, then why did Democrats disguise their true agenda, lie about Obamacare and immigration, and avoid the issues that Americans were most concerned about? And why did Americans reject them?

Ed Schultz is Right?

Commentator Ed Schultz, no friend to conservatives, admitted:

“Last night was a complete rejection of the President of the United States and what he stands for. You can’t sugarcoat it. There were four main Democratic themes in this election that simply did not work. Democrats focused on income inequality, the war on women, voting rights, and fighting bad trade deals. Now, those themes, well, they just didn’t ring true with voters, and just didn’t ring true with voters on the ground.”

We, the People, have spoken.

The GOP tsunami augurs well for America. It remains to be seen whether the GOP will have the courage to fulfill its responsibilities, stand firm on its principles, and fight for freedom.

Happy Veterans’ Day

In our celebration of Veterans’ Day, let us recall the words of Abraham Lincoln, whose speeches and correspondence acknowledged the valor and sacrifices of our military and their families.

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Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

(November 19, 1863)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby

Executive Mansion,

Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.