Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Shamelessly stolen from The Onion, no copyright challenge implied
I'm Prepared To Give My Life For This Or Any Country
By Curtis Stalbank
THE ONION, March 28, 2007
As a true patriot, I would gladly die in battle defending my homeland. I love my country more than my own life. But I would also be more than willing to give my last breath in the name of, say, Mexico, Panama, Japan, or the Czech Republic. The most honorable thing a man can do is lay down his life for his country. Or another country. The important thing is that it's a country.
Like those heroes who spilled their blood fighting for independence against the British Empire, I, too, would forfeit everything to win for my countrymen the right to be governed by politicians in our own capital instead of in a capital located further away. Nothing is more profound or more sacred than to die for one's country, an adjacent country, or some other, foreign country.
The truth is, there are a lot of countries, each of which is the most noble cause possible to die for. I only regret that I have but one life to lose for but one country.
I would not hesitate to give my life for or against any other noble nation. Come to think of it, I would even die for a neutral third party caught in the crossfire during a heroic peacekeeping effort, just so long as my death would be in some way related to a country of some kind. That's how committed I am to the concept of nationalism.
The bottom line is that the current boundaries of a nation are worth protecting at all costs. Otherwise, what would so many brave and patriotic souls have lost their lives for?
I was lucky enough to be born in one of the 200 greatest countries in the world, and I promised myself long ago that I would never forget it. I can only hope to someday have the privilege of protecting this great land against whomever may seek to do it harm. Or to defend some other country against whomever may seek to do it harm. And vice versa.
Ideally, I'd like to die for a country that was at least in the Western hemisphere but it'd be just as heroic to expire bravely on the end of a pointed stick deep in the jungles of Africa. My wife would be widowed and my children orphaned, but they would take solace in the knowledge that I had given my life to a cause that the people of some nation believed in.
I only ask that I be given a soldier's funeral so that I may be buried holding the flag or flags of wherever it was I was fighting for.
There comes a time when all of us, no matter who we are, heed the call to the battlefield. It is a call we cannot and should not ignore, no matter where it is coming from. And if I must die, in the service of this or that country, I only hope I can at least take as many of the enemy with me as possible before I fall and breathe my last. Unless of course, they're also fighting for a country. In which case, their deaths, at my hands, will have been honorable—because they, like me, would have died for a country.
Without nationalism, our deaths in the countless wars we constantly wage to defend our own nations against others defending their own nations against us would seem arbitrary, almost meaningless. But as long as we have a higher purpose—the love of whatever country we happen to be fighting for—we will always know we did not lose our lives in vain.