LtGen Victor (Brute) Krulak’s passing means the loss of yet another legend, a giant of his time who, like Col Ripley and General Barrow, grew in stature as his deeds were viewed in the context of our time as well as his. In a December 1969 speech, General Krulak asked the below question, with the accompanying remarks which represent a portion of his speech. We would do well to ask this question again, and consider his observations four decades later.
What in the hell happened to the United States of America?
Something is certainly wrong.We’re a nation with resources beyond measure and a form of government that has brought us to historical eminence.But we’re a nation in trouble.What has happened to the United States of America?We see thousands of citizens whose stock in trades is disunity and lawlessness, thousands more who preach hatred for our governmental system and clamor for free speech for themselves, and thousands who insist that their country owes them a living.
What has happened to our country? Clergymen who use the pulpit to promote political change when they ought to be addressing themselves to promoting reverence for our Lord.
Magistrates who so dedicate themselves to protecting the rights of accused individuals that they undermine the rights of law-abiding citizens or of the community or of the nation.
What has become of the United States of America?
Men who cry out for black power or white power or brown power, with never a word about truth power or the power of a free nation.Elementary school teachers obsessed with sex education but are quite willing to send on youngsters who don’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and who don’t care.
College professors who boast openly about how they are revolutionaries, citizens who can somehow accept complacently the desecration of our flag on a warship in the sea of Japan, on a fishing boat off the Peruvian coast; cynics who think it’s out of fashion to be proud of their country or to fight for it or to sacrifice for it.
Young people who are contemptuous of this Academy and all institutions like it, who demand that ROTC be abolished, that there be no military-related research on a campus, that military recruiting in universities be ended, and who encourage desertion from our Armed Forces.
National Legislators, professors, and students who condemn our forces fighting for their lives for fighting too hard; who insist that the route to greatness is somehow to be found in surrender; who are prepared to risk our Nation’s destiny on the Utopian gamble that by weakening ourselves, we can somehow enhance the likelihood of peace around the world.