Light a candle to remember 9/11 and to banish the dark

Remarks of Emy Delgaudio at the
Freedom Leadership Conference 9/11 Memorial
on Wednesday, 9/11/13 in Springfield, Virginia

Another American President said of another sad day in America history, that it was a day that would live in infamy.  Before I speak of other days that will live in infamy – today being 9/11 – let me remind you.

That first “day of infamy” was also a surprise attack by Japan that killed 2,402 Americans, damaged all eight American battleships in the harbor and accomplished the Japanese goal.

And do you recall my friends, what that Japanese goal was in 1941?  The Japanese wanted to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with their ambitions to take over and control Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, and they launched simultaneous attacks on the U.S. held Philippines and on the British at Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Remember that when President Obama spoke last night of sending a message and deterring Syria, this was a similar goal to the Japanese in 1941.  They wanted to send America a message to back off, and deter America from interfering with their plans.

Well, America didn’t back off, and there was a long world war.

President Obama may think he is going to “send a message” with an attack on Syria but whether he likes it or not, whether he wants to admit it or not, we actually already ARE in a world war against terrorism.

The war of today is in a very important way, just like the war of 1941.

There are in the world, forces of darkness, of evil.  This is not a battle over who is going to control some resources or territory, or the sectarian violence and hatred that continues to divide the middle east.

No, just like in 1941 America is at war.  We are at war with the dark.  We represent what is good, what is noble, what is true and what is uplifting about the human spirit.

We who are people of faith, we who were founded as a country by people who believed that God created us with rights, that neither King George nor any government gave those rights nor can they be taken away.  What we have is a gift from our creator, and America’s founding fathers knew that, and they crafted a new Constitution based on those beliefs.

Today we are under new attack and have been since September 11, 2001.  The same forces attacked us again in Benghazi last year on this same date.  Our American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and national guardsmen have faced off with those who represent this new version of the same old evil, for some 12 years now.

Many have died at the hands of this evil, and the casualties will continue.  Firing missiles at Syria won’t change that.  Ordering American forces to retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan, will change nothing.

Those who hate America, who hate freedom, have a very simple objective, just as the Japanese of 1941 did.  They want to make America back off.  Ultimately, they want to extinguish freedom, blow out the candle that was lite in 1776.

In a moment, we will light candles to remember those who are the casualties of this war against freedom, those who died on September 11, 2001, and at Benghazi on September 11 of 2012, and others who were killed by terrorists.

We will light a candle to remember that there is evil in the world, and there are victims of this evil, like people of faith in Communist China, including our friends of the Falun Gong discipline.

Most especially, we will light candles now, to give prayerful thanks to those who went forward to defend our freedom during this terrible war against America.  They knew when they marched out wearing the uniform of America, that they were going into harms way.

As we pause to memorialize and thank those who paid that price for freedom, including those wounded and hurt, the families and loved ones who also paid a price with their terrible loss, we also take solace and comfort in knowing without a doubt, what the ultimate outcome of this struggle between good and evil, is going to be.

For the book I read, says there is evil in the world, there is darkness, but that the light will always push it back.  We believe he sent his Son to give the world a light in the darkness and a path to salvation.  We believe that no matter what sins and mistakes mankind and individual men and women may make, there is also forgiveness of sins, and redemption.

So as we now prepare to light candles, we do so not only to memorialize the casualties of the war against evil, not only to remember another day of infamy on 9/11, not just for the purpose of thanking those who volunteer their very lives to defend us and freedom, but something more, something very important.

For the light, shall conquer the dark.  Our lighting of candles today is not only to remember the past, but to rededicate ourselves to the future of hope and the promise that our faith holds to, that the light will conquer the dark.

No one says this better, than another American who spoke after 7,000 Americans had died in battle.  While it was a civil war, all of those on that battlefield died for an American ideal.  I thank God that the union was preserved.

President Lincoln’s words to memorialize that battle are very appropriate for us today.  A divided America would never have come to the aid of the Philippines after that older day of infamy, and I might have grown up in the Philippines as a country and in a region where everyone spoke Japanese and worshiped the Emperor of Japan instead of our Lord and Savior.

If President Lincoln’s side had not prevailed, the world would not have had the help of a united America to defeat the evil in World War II.

That other American I speak of is Abraham Lincoln, and his Gettysburg address will live on as inspiration just as December 7 and September 11 will live in infamy.

After paying tribute to the Gettysburg battle heroes who fell, Lincoln reminded us all that

It is for us the living… to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

And now we ask Dr. Larry Liu, representing those who are the victims of this evil of which we speak today, to step forward with his candle.  It only takes one person to show how the light can banish the dark.  Larry came to us last February to tell us what was happening to people of faith, and today he has a movie he will introduce to us shortly.  We thank you Dr. Larry Liu, and we ask you to convey our message to fellow people of faith in China.

The world did not speak out enough when Jews were being killed by the Nazis.  The mainstream media didn’t have much to say, when Communist Pol Pot in Cambodia murdered millions of his own people.

The so called Cultural Revolution in China and the millions of victims of Communist China ever since, including people of faith such as the Falun Gong, do not receive much attention in the western press and the free world.

But we know that despite these casualties, the light will prevail, and while we memorialize today, September 11, 2013, and again September 11, 2012, and all of these people who paid so much for freedom, we also now light a candle to show that it starts with you, it starts with one person, who then speaks out and refuses to back down, and the light is spread to others, and banishes the dark.  Let us show this now.

(Larry’s candle is lit by the speaker)

When one person speaks truth, when there is one who shows the light, we can step forward and join in, we can also take that truth and show that light banishes the dark.

(5 people step forward to light their candles from Larry’s).

And the light of right, spreads.  And shall not perish from this earth.  We will keep our faith.  We will do our part.  Thank you all for being here.  God bless you, God bless our fellow people of faith in China, and God bless America.

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