Lens of History (24)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Jer
Format: Textual Record
Object: New Jersey’s Personal Journal
Location (if known): Naval Base Avalon
Time (if known): Dated April 29th, 1989

How are we to prepare for this war?

I ask myself this question every day, and I comfort myself with the same answer every day. We will make do with what we have.

Rarely do I ask myself, is what we have enough? Once again, my answer will have to be, it will have to do. We do not need more funding or more fingers in STEC’s proverbial pie. We do not need more men. There is very little the proposed acceleration of military re-industrialization will do for us outside of lining the pockets of certain interest groups.

What we need now, more so than anything else, is time, and that is something no one can give me. I find it remarkable that it took only a generation for us to forget the totality of war.

Forty years ago, every community, every household, was affected by World War II. Men fought. Women worked. Families sat and waited for the news of their loved ones. The scale of war was such that the circumstances gave everyone vested interest in its outcome.

Forty years later, the world is peaceful. Great power relations are thawing. Our peoples grow prosperous. We have done all we can to preserve the illusion of normalcy, and all is well.

How long can we keep this up? How long can we afford to maintain our luxurious, ignorant bliss?

Somewhere in the back of my mind I entertain a small delusion, that the invasion that we have been preparing for during the last decades could be kept from the public’s prying eye. If there is anything we can do to spare the public the horrors of this upcoming war, I would do it in a heartbeat.

War, however, will come. Whether or not we want it to, it will come on its own accord. This is why I retreat to my little place of solitude here. I give voice to my fears now so when they come I shall know no fear.

I fly that little flag in my office these days. I’ve noticed more than a few odd looks my way, but in time I hope they understand it’s a tangible reminder and source of strength for me.

We sing to it, pledge allegiance to it, fight to defend it. That little flag stands for America and all that we want to fight for. Patriotism – duty, honor, faith – and hope goes hand in hand, and we’ll need both to survive what comes ahead.