America Essay Contest: Where Good Men Do Nothing, Evil and Corruption Prevail

November 25, 2020 Updated: November 25, 2020


On a cold winter day in 1956, as a young soldier on the way to a meeting at the peace site of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, I was standing at the south entrance of the Freedom Gate Bridge, a one-lane bridge we had to cross from South Korea into North Korea. The bridge, secured by the 2nd Battle Group, 4th Cavalry, is the bridge over the Imjin River on which American POWs returned from North Korea and North Korean and Communist Chinese soldiers returned northward during the 1952 exchange of captured fighting men.

It was the first time my full and unfettered appreciation and personalized emotional love for my country, America, and our consistent defense of freedom, rolled powerfully and emotionally, overwhelmingly and with profound meaning into my heart. Understanding the deep personal and life-giving mission of the bridge, I was overwhelmed with such profound gratitude and complete acceptance of these men’s personal freedom from captivity. It was a most emotional and powerful and tear-provoking experience that became strongly embedded in my heart and mind for the rest of my life—even to this day.

There is always a price to pay, sometimes a terrible price, for freedom’s pure virtues and refreshing sweetness … a price demanded of those who are pledged and loyal to protecting freedom’s concepts.

In most of the world, freedom and America are synonymous. Many do not savor for us the elevated position of America, bastion of freedom. But they recognize this status. They know assuredly Americans will pay whatever the price for freedom.

I love America. America’s hard-won freedom has given me an opportunity and a fair chance to harvest the world-unique bounties of everything promised in the Bill of Rights and our precious Constitution.

I have tested those unique and powerfully personal promises of America and found them to be real.

I have enjoyed and progressed in this atmosphere.

I treasure the individual opportunity America offers to progress and grow.

I love and appreciate and treasure the family safety and joy America offers and religious freedom and right to worship as I please.

The promises of our Constitution and Bill of Rights do not ensure us undisturbed and continuing peace nor a sanctuary from troubles brewed throughout the world. There is always a price to pay.

Sometimes the “price” required is not bloodshed but still individual and personal. Sometimes these personal skirmishes are scattered throughout our years of becoming who we are and accepting America with gratitude as our best hope.

In 1776, when asked what kind of government the founders had created, Benjamin Franklin’s famous rejoinder was both witty and ominous: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

America is not only unique, but as George Washington and others constantly asserted, America is a God-inspired country. They called His hand in the bloody engagements and following efforts to establish this country, “providence.”

I love America because, even though at this time when we are a nation in pain, those promised blessings of freedom still prevail.

Sometimes, as in our own progression, a skirmish somewhere in the world establishes America’s will to protect others’ freedoms. Sometimes, as we have experienced a number of times in our history, our nation is mobilized to combat outside aggressors who would destroy our Bill of Rights and our Constitution.

Most of us do not and will not confront these kinds of overwhelming challenges one on one, but individual threats to our peace and sanctuaries abound. Even internally. Constantly. We are foolish to ignore them hoping they will someway slide into a free peace for us.

General George S. Patton was a no-nonsense fighting leader in World War II. A quote attributed to him is: “If a man does all he can with what he has where he is, what more can be asked of him?”

So it is with each of us. Especially the doing. But, where good men do nothing, evil and corruption prevail. Our call to arms in these tumultuous times is individual.

There are always vexing problems present and negative challenges abound. That is a constant with a people, like Americans, who are free to seek individualized life with protective guarantees.

But, there are real and meaningful actions each of us can consider: Speak up for what is RIGHT about and with America.

Emphasize positive circumstances and accomplishments by individuals and groups.

Speak up for and support those who are more prominent and of our same convictions.

Speak up for the rights of all to seek consolation with their God in their church.

Willingly work at honest labors to support and care for and build ourselves, our families and our communities.

Declare individual faith, convictions and support for law and order and its essential role for peace in our country.

Care for our neighbor’s welfare.

And vote!—for those who have an established declaration for our Constitutional rights.

And as did George Washington and our other founding fathers, pray more for courage and ask for the blessings, guidance, and providence of God.

Vern Brazell lives in Bountiful, Utah, and is a soldier, proud patriot, successful businessman, happy husband, proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather, University of Utah graduate, market research executive, and international business consultant.

This essay was entered in the Epoch Times “Why I Love America” contest.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.