Kevin Foley’s “apology to Private Parman” is sad and tragic. Stronger words could have been used but my wife would not let me. Foley used the grave, the memory, and the sacrifice of Private Parman, a soldier killed in Europe in 1945, as a medium or excuse for smearing Americans with whom Foley disagrees. It was shameful. Foley regularly and nastily condemns Americans who have conservative views, who espouse limited government, who believe that liberty in the economy with only limited regulation will help all people, poor and rich alike, who believe that our government serves the people, not the other way around. He believes that the people live to serve the government. He has forgotten that the Constitution begins: “We the people.” Regrettably, people who disagree with Foley have no rights in his world.
Foley claims that Pvt. Parman would be upset by conservatives who make their voices heard, who resist what they see as government tyranny equal to or worse than that with which King George oppressed the Colonies. But they are in fact standing up for liberty and using their freedom of speech. These are principles for which the American Revolution was fought. These are principles for which men and women have fought and died to protect and uphold for over 200 years. These are the principles for which Parman gave his life. No, Mr. Foley, Pvt. Parman would not be upset. And he would need no apology. He would, instead, have the confidence that his sacrifice was not in vain.
As a young boy of 8, I stood with my parents overlooking the Luxembourg military cemetery field of graves, little stone markers as far as the eye could see. The knowledge that people could die for me so that I might have freedom was burned into my brain that day and lives on in my heart.
It is truly a tragedy that Foley and others like him do not understand that Pvt. Parman did not die so that only Foley’s ideas can prevail. No, they died so that we all can have a robust debate of ideas about how society should function. I thank God that our Founding Fathers risked their lives to create a nation which honors liberty and protects freedom of speech as part of that liberty. Pvt. Parman lived and died so that all of us, conservative, liberal, libertarian, whatever, can freely debate and express our beliefs. He died so that Foley can express his views, but not so that he can silence those with whom he disagrees.
While the America (often called the idea of America) for which our brave soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice still lives, it is in danger. If we do not take the effort to educate ourselves about what freedom and liberty really mean, that we are entrusted by our Creator with liberties so that all men and women can prosper and grow to the fullest measure of their God-given potential, we will surely lose what God intended to bestow upon us. We must be eternally vigilant in the defense of liberty. Let us not forget the sacrifice of Pvt. Parman. It was for all of us.