I have absolutely no doubt, that in the chronicles of the next generation, if there indeed is a next generation, that one Mr. Bill Whittle will be celebrated in history as one of the Clarions, whose calls rallied armies in the defense of civilization.
Let me for a momemt presume that you are not familiar with Mr. Whittle. Those of you who are, ought proceed directly to his site and read his latest. You know who he is, you know the link, you know what to do.
For you remaining and wondering? Let me tell you. Bill Whittle is the author of a book entitled Silent America, a compilation of his essays speaking to what it is to be American, and more. I have the honor of possessing a uniquely signed copy of that book, and it holds the place of honor in my small collection.
Bill's works are not a quick read, but they are a necessary study.
The body requires the nutrition of food. The mind, the stimulation of intellectual challenge. The soul, needful of succor from He who is greater than us all.
Likewise, the beating heart of Americanism, including it's roots dating to the earliest cries of "Let my people go!" uttered by Moses, require a regular infusion of idealism, inspiration and reinforcement of the founding concepts and principles of this Nation.
And more largely, the present battle between the forces of (quite literal) darkness, be they advocates of a seventh-century caliphate, or the equally senseless puveyors of a dark planet, unlit by the currents powered by the evils of fossil fuels......and the forces of light, of the advancement of mankind on this planet. This battle also requires a constant affirmation of who we are as a civilization, and a constant realization of who and what are the forces who would tear this, and us, down.
No one makes the case in such a clear and forceful manner as Bill Whittle.
A few minutes later, I could see a patch of ground directly below, and then, after a little more needlework, we popped out beneath the layer. There, dead ahead, were the flashing approach strobes…Burbank Airport, right where those damn little white needles said it would be. Truth to tell, I was actually slightly to the left of the runway centerline, and Craig, my mute flight instructor in the seat next to me, was slightly to the right of it. That is a hell of a feeling, coming home to civilization, to an airport beacon right where it was supposed to be, to leave death up in the grey soup just this once with a weird, indescribable, clearly paradoxical mixture of burning pride and deep humility.
How many people were there with me that day? Not just the obvious two – Dana and Craig, whose support kept my monkey brain in the back of my head to return to throw pooh another day. How many guys were watching me on radar, keeping me separated from far, far better men and women who do this in their sleep up there? How many people did it take to make the instruments, to mine the silica for the glass, to tap the rubber for the wires? Who laid the asphalt on the runways, who built the filaments in the approach strobes, and who attached the ceramic tips to my spark plugs? And how many millions of other unseen connections had to be made to allow me to do, routinely, and on a middle-class salary, what billions of dead men and women would have given a lifetime to taste – just once. In those few minutes I just told you of, I stood on the shoulders of millions of my brothers and sisters, not the least of which were two sons of a preacher from Dayton, Ohio – now long dead but with me in spirit every day. I was atop a pyramid of dedication, hard work, ingenuity and progress, following rules written in the blood of the stupid and the brave and the unlucky.
I had tossed myself a mile into the air and landed safe in this Web of Trust.
That, from the first chapter of his forthcoming book.
Now then, I hope I've piquied your interest. Set an hour aside, and go read.
I know you'll be glad you did.