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December 13, 2012

By: Katie Taran

Last Friday marked the 71st anniversary of the
“date which will live in infamy.”  Flags at Half MastAs should be the case, the
anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor elicited appropriate
gestures.  Flags were flown at half-staff, special memorial
services were held throughout the country, and many a Facebook
status was devoted to remembering those lost and being thankful for
the Greatest Generation.

Every morning 97.1-WASH FM delivers a thought of the day just
before 9:00 a.m.  What a special opportunity it would have
been last Friday to have a quotation about the anniversary or the
Greatest Generation or the Armed Forces in general.  The
possibilities are endless but here are a few recommendations:

“They fought together as brothers-in-arms.  They died
together and now they sleep side by side.  To them we have a
solemn obligation.” -Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

“We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible
struggle our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a
symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the
other.” -General George C. Marshall

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated
invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win
through to absolute victory.” -President Franklin Delano

But much to my chagrin, “Washington’s Christmas Station” went
down an entirely different road last Friday morning.  After
playing a brief clip of FDR’s address to the nation that fateful
day, they transitioned to another quotation of his:

“Here is my principle:  Taxes shall be levied
according to ability to pay.  That is the only American


I’d guess that the radio stations’ tactless selection (on such a
solemn occasion no less!) might be the result of America’s public
education system-where FDR is regarded as the greatest president of
all time and the programs of the New Deal are credited with saving
us from the Great Depression.

So instead of calling the station and criticizing their thought
of the day, I’ve decided to send them two books by popular
Foundation lecturer and Hillsdale College Professor of History
Dr. Burt FolsomNew Deal or Raw Deal?:
How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America
and FDR Goes
to War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and
Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America
might give
them better perspective on FDR’s “American principle.”

Because here at Young America’s Foundation, our American
principle is FREEDOM.

Katie Taran is the conference director for Young America’s Foundation.



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