After my father passed away 20 years ago, I had the sad duty to go through and dispose of some of his possessions. Buried deep in one of his drawers were items he carried during World War II; items like maps, orders, encrypted messages, and a hand-written notebook with “Epic Words” of great people such as Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln; items that no one in my family knew about prior. Rarely did my father ever talk about his war experiences, keeping the scars of battle deep inside him. But mixed in with the other items was a short letter he wrote, somewhere on the battlefields of North Africa or Italy, a letter that stands alone amongst his papers, a letter which speaks volumes of why he risked his life by enlisting to fight World War II. Replace the words Japan and foreign powers with terrorist, and the principles still ring true today, some 60 odd years after it was first penned.
Why I Fight: A common soldier's take on war
By Norman Moskovitch
It is not for me, the common soldier, to discuss the basic or immediate causes of this present conflict. That is past history. But, as an American who has volunteered to take arms against the forces of evil, I find it necessary to attempt to understand the fundamental principles involved in this present conflict.
We cannot merely shrug the matter off by saying Japan attacked us and that is why we fight. It is not enough. Eventually, it was a choice between two principles; either submit ourselves to the will of these foreign powers, or resist and finally destroy them. If we submitted?
Well, look what happened to France. France was once a mighty and great nation, but now has been reduced to a state of semi-slavery. (Consider the context of World War II. Editor).
But we resist! Because from the souls of the millions of men who have died in the past; those pioneers, farmers, workers, industrialists, statesmen, politicians, inventors, scientists, philosophers, dreamers, martyrs, crackpots, and so on, there has been a rising, in us, a heritage. This heritage which has made our land what it is. Our land, which has been open to all men who bring peace and good will, has given, to all, the opportunity to prosper and dream and worship as the individual sees fit. A land that hasn’t been polluted by class distinction, which has given anyone, no matter how obscure or humble his beginning, a chance of rising to fame and fortune and even become the leader of the nation. A land which has given a man the chance of fulfilling his innermost dreams of happiness and contentment, is a land well worth fighting and sacrificing, or, if necessary, dying for.
Our ancestors made it what it was and we make it what it is. Whether, in the eyes of God, it be right or wrong, we have it and we’re stuck with it. In our minds, we believe it is right. It is ours. Therefore, we shall protect and maintain it, defend and preserve it. We will not fail!
Victor Moss (aka "Doc")is a retired Master Sergeant who spent 14 years overseas during nine assignments in his career. Doc is active in the American Legion having held positions at the Post, District and Department levels. He is a graduate from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a degree in Adult Education and a Master of Science in Management from Troy University.