I know today is Friday and so I am supposed to be posting a recipe, but it’s also Veterans’ Day in the U.S. so I decided to post something in honor of our veterans and active service members instead.
The quote “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” has been floating around in my head. I did a Google search (no, I did not “google” it, you’re welcome for the help protecting your trademark, Google) to determine the source of this quote. I found out it is commonly attributed to Edmund Burke, but that there is no conclusive evidence that he said it, and it does not appear in any of his writings. It is, nonetheless, a good quote that supports what I want to write about veterans today.
Many people are very anti-war. I see bumper stickers that say “Endless this war” and wonder if the people who put them on their cars believe that war is never necessary.
I am not a big fan of war, by any means. Too many good people are killed and injured in wars. It would be truly wonderful to live in a world where there were no wars and where we did not need to have an active military to protect our freedom.
But that is not the world we live in. Instead, we live in a world where evil people oppress and attack others; where evil people do all that is in their power to capture territory belonging to others; where evil people let greed and power control their actions; where evil people seek to crush the freedom of others to live their lives in harmony and peace.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In WWII, if good men had done nothing, the evil of Hitler would have triumphed and he would have succeeded in killing even more innocent men, women, and children in the death camps. In this instance, war may not have been desirable, but it was necessary.
Our veterans and our active service members give their lives to protect what is good and to protect our freedoms. They stand at the ready to do something so that when evil rears its ugly head it does not triumph. I suspect if you asked most veterans and active service members whether they like war, they would say no. But there are many things in life we may not like but still must do to uphold justice, peace, and the lives of good people.
Instead of protesting particular wars or war in general, I choose to thank our veterans and the members of our armed forces for their service, for their willingness to stand ready so that evil might not triumph.
Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 (NIV).