6/30/2005

Red and Blue Make Yellow

Two hundred years ago this fall, one of the greatest heroes in English history, Admiral Nelson, led the British fleet to a smashing victory over the combined French and Spanish navies at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson, who had already lost an eye and an arm in the service of his country, was killed by a sniper during the battle. But the British victory there ended any threat of Napoleon invading England.

This week in commemorating of the bicentennial of Trafalgar, seventeen "tall ships" staged a mock sea battle. Yet according to news reports, to avoid offending the French, the mock battle was between the "blue" and "red" navies. What a cowardly display of political correctness.

In our sensitive day, we are so concerned that we avoid giving offense to anyone that historical correctness has been replaced by political correctness. As a result, history is being dumbed down to the point of irrelevance. The British did defeat the French, and deserve to celebrate it. Past conflicts do not dictate present relationships. We fought two brutal wars against England, (one of them more recent than Trafalgar) yet they have been and remain our closest ally in the world.

It's important to tell people the truth. Wars have winners and losers. Many times (though not always) one side is right and the other is wrong. And we should be willing to say so. We haven't given up "The Star Spangled Banner", written during our second war with England, as our national anthemn to spare British sensibilities over their defeat...yet.

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