There are so many stories of individual survival, but this is not one of them. Many months ago, I met a lovely young lady who was dealing with stage 4 papillary thyroid cancer, which affects her throat and voice. She never let on she had it, nor demonstrated by any stretch that she was a victim. Instead, she showed those of us around her what it means to have true strength. She also has a beautiful voice and readily shares it with audiences to inspire and motivate, despite dealing with a life-threatening disease. She is the adopted daughter of an Air Force master sergeant and a naturalized U.S. citizen. Her name and her story are one and the same: “Miracle.” Like Miracle’s story, our nation’s survival story has its own twists and turns. I sometimes wonder how our country will survive the onslaught when there is little respect for God, authority, our flag and respect itself. There has never been such a time as this. Let us recall the days of the tragic war with Vietnam and the chaos and unrest in our beloved country. Approximately 50,000 were killed in action and many more came home with seen and unseen wounds. As in all wars, many red-blooded Americans whose hearts beat red, white and blue held fast for those who had lost their way in the fray of the crisis at home. They stayed true to what was right, good and decent, and America stayed on course. There are countless wars to be fought, and evil still needs to be defeated around the world on distant shores. While there are many men and women willing to risk their lives to ensure that evil doesn’t come to our shores, suddenly what we thought unfathomable in our lifetimes has arrived. We now have a responsibility to them and to ourselves to stand up right here, at home, for the very same causes we once thought would only be found on distant shores. It was once said that a man (or woman) who stands for nothing will fall for anything. While I understand the idea of not wanting to offend others, there comes a time when the gray area between right and wrong must form at least a thin black line. We each must choose on which side we stand. Will you be one who is marching uphill while lifting the fallen or one whose feet and courage give way on the slimy, slippery slope of timid indecisiveness? Have faith and be proud of our heritage! Do not be intimidated or ashamed of wrongs committed in the past, or even of generational sins for which blame does not rest upon your shoulders. Many of us have no idea what our ancestors did or did not do, but I speak for myself and at least most of you when I say that we have worked toward a better America and will continue to do so! I believe that we will be victorious. And while it may appear that the last of the highest mountains in our United States is about to be engulfed in the rising waters of a socialist tide, the strength and resilience of America’s tree of liberty will never let this happen. [firefly_poll] It will take effort and consistency. Yes, our local actions will have a national impact if we weigh in together. We must join hands in this battle for America and for true freedom. There are those who are seeing through rose-tinted glasses the ideologies of failed governments and lost people. That road has been traveled by many before us and, in most cases, has been a one-way street to destruction from which there was no recovery. I am sure that there are many good-hearted people who believe the daily lies told by those who wish to see America brought to its knees at the feet of all countries, including third-world countries, whose people continue to endure sad and wretched lives. You see, my friends and fellow citizens; we have a war to wage. The enemy is a tough, moving, difficult-to-distinguish individual who comes in the form of a dangerous ideology, a threat to our very way of life. A famous military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, stated, “Every age has its own kind of war, its own limiting conditions, and its own peculiar preconceptions.” Our conditions include a war of narratives, or, to be more precise, a war of distractions. We are being attacked on so many fronts that we cannot see from which direction the attacks are coming. The institutions that we should trust, such as the media, our education system, our justice system (including some in the judiciary), our political leaders and, yes, even our church leaders have let us down, allowing those on the slippery slope to weaken the important messages of freedom and liberty and the battle plans those American citizens need so desperately to hear. We must not bend to the pressure of the day. Ours is not a choice, but a necessity. We have a responsibility to those who come after us, those future generations of Americans who count on us at this moment as we counted on generations throughout our nation’s storied history. We cannot selfishly hold dear to our hearts the freedoms, rights and privileges that were handed to us; instead, we must try to imagine what it must have been like for those who truly risked their lives to escape a regime to get to this country, especially for those whose blood now runs deep in our very soil from their sacrifices and respect for God, authority, our flag and respect itself. So put on your helmet, take up your shield, stand strong. Chin up, back straight and do what you know is right. It may be the harder choice, one fraught with risk and the loss of family members and friends, but you’ll sense right away that it is the necessary and right choice to make. May all who come after us find our choices authentic and honest, as difficult as they will be. May they also find us faithful. Our words and actions in these challenging times will be captured for all of human history. And if we remain true to who we are as a nation, built upon a set of Judeo-Christian principles and values, we will be like Miracle, a survivor thriving with life — like the tree of liberty, able to withstand the storms raging around us. May our feet forever remain firm in freedom’s soil. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.