Reflecting on Memorial Day and Soldiers I Have Known

atlantic sunrise - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Today, Memorial Day, should be the most solemn of secular holidays, one in which we honor those soldiers who have died defending our nation and its ideals.

Memorial DayI never served in the military. I came of age in the Vietnam War and received a low lottery number that would have required me serving but for a totally unfair system that allowed one to avoid the draft through college. One of my very best friends from our high school class of 27 went, though, and, thankfully, survived. He subsequently raised two sons who joined the military, one becoming a Navy Seal. My father-in-law, Edward O’Neill (pictured to the right) was drafted to serve in World War II and went to Europe to fight in the Battle of Bulge, helping to rescue Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe from the Seige of Bastogne, an event that shaped his deep ride in being an American. My son-in-law served in the Iraq War helping to put out fires (literally).

All three of these made it home, but they saw and supported others not so fortunate; soldiers who gave their lives for this exceptional nation and that for which it stands. Honoring their memory should mean being truthful with ourselves about the things that have made this country great and among these is, of course, the independence we far too often take for granted.

There are many facets to independence but Merriam-Webster defines it this way:

  • freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent
  • the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control

Our nation fought for and won its independence from the British Empire, arguably then the most powerful on Earth. We sought independence both for our country and within our country and mostly gained it. We’ve had to fight for this freedom repeatedly and usually reluctantly after some tyrant or group of tyrants have attempted to create a new and different empire.

There are always such. The tendency to tyranny is an inherent part of human nature, but the American way has been to live and let live until such time as circumstances demand a different direction. We are, as it’s said, slow to anger and great in power. While we can argue about the necessity of this war or that war, we’ve also undeniably gone there when we had to do so, World War II being the best example.

Our entry into the World War II became necessary when we were attacked, of course, but, more importantly, happened because France and England slept when Hitler invaded the Rhineland, then the Sudetenland, then the rest of Czechoslovakia and, finally, the rest of Europe. Had the tyrant been stopped when he was but a petty version we wouldn’t have had to stop the real one years later at such loss of life on all sides. There also would have been no Holocaust. Failure to face the truth about the tyrants is a very costly one indeed.

We will always face tyrants. Today, they come in the form of radical Islamic terrorists with visions of caliphates. This movement has been decades in the making and we have still not truly come to terms with it or beaten it back. We indirectly supported it, in fact, by surrendering our energy independence to countries such as Saudi Arabia, an ostensible ally that has funded Wahhabism at the root of so much of radical Islamic terrorism. Add in the Muslim Brotherhood and you have the recipe for most of our security ills of the last three decades.

Going to war with these folks has not been as effective as we’d like because war is now so different. We no longer battle nations but, rather, movements that are strengthened in many regards by being attacked. I’m no national security expert, so I’m not going to pontificate about how we go about ultimately defeating this enemy, but one thing I do know; we cannot afford to fund the opposition by buying their oil and the single most effective thing we can do to control their spread is avoid spending our money with them. We must be completely energy independent, so we do not have to buy one drop of oil produced by a nation funding or tolerating radical Islamic terrorism.

We know the answer. It’s right before our eyes. It’s shale oil, shale gas and other energy sources that don’t require subsidies that will bankrupt us and are capable of being ramped up quickly to deliver energy when and where it’s needed. Since the shale revolution began in earnest in 2007 or so, this is what has happened with Saudi oil imports to the US:

Memorial Day

Yes, oil imports from Saudi Arabia have declined from a high of 2,310,000 barrels per day in May, 2003 to 1,210,000 barrels per day in May, 2015. The shale revolution is giving us energy independence. It’s starving the beast of radical Islamic terrorism by putting manners on our supposed ally. Think about that this Memorial Day as we honor the soldiers who have died fighting tyrants such as these.

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4 thoughts on “Reflecting on Memorial Day and Soldiers I Have Known


    Speaking of the nation where the expression “the people” one imagines is supposed to mean more than say “the people” who are occupy organizers and others supporting Bernie Sanders here is a super tweet from people4bernie about a Bernie presidency including bill mckibben an anti natural gas activist in the cabinet.

    I imagine ferc should have one of these “the people’s” commissioners next as well? How about we just let bill mckibben and pals write all laws pertaining to energy? Or those people in some Pennsylvania town who wrote a law I think legalizing civil disobedience?

    Bill mckibben is not choosy about the activists or type of activism he promotes in the least. He finds the folks like resist aim who are not just protesting a natural gas pipeline but massively misleading people for years inspirational.


    Apparently the writer Anne Meador produces news from “the people’s” perspective. What people one wonders? Well I have seen her write jibberish on the Rockaway and port Ambrose proposals so I can assume some of those people were from occupy the pipeline or the people’s puppets of occupy or sane energy or beyond extreme energy or resist aim.

    Amazing stuff.


    Speaking of Mr mckibben apparently he is tweeting about something important one may read about at the link provided. It sounds like people living in an area in Maryland are living under a police state perhaps a rogue police state much like the country is living under this rogue federal agency known as ferc’s reign. That is if you believe what you read on ecowatch or when following links provided by bill mckibben who may have written some books and may be identified as a former journalist or reporter.

    Wow. The times are super interesting.


    There is a union giving Brook Packard and resist aim folks way too much credit when implying they stand up for their “beliefs”. Factually some of these people are complete frauds thru and thru. And lying about the numbers of their members like sane energy for example is just the tip of what these people “believe” in. Fake groups or groups that are no more than Facebook pages? False testimony under oath at nyc council hearings? Sure.

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