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June 30, 2016 • Vol. 93, No. 6 “For God & Country”

Badger &“Wisconsin”

www.wilegion.org

Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

The mission of The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin is to provide service to veterans, their families and their communities.

A FADED SENSE OF HONOR

By Tom Lowe – Special to the Badger Legionnaire The face of honor, integrity, and morality has changed dramatically throughout the years. Any student of history can see that. Though every historical era has had its share of heroes and villains, it seems to me that the faster the years go by, the faster the quality of leadership goes along with them. Most people I know tend to agree with me. This particular election year makes it all too obvious. Unfortunately, I feel that this year’s election is not an anomaly: it’s just the beginning of many more to come. What has happened to our once-distinguished and exalted political leadership? As an historian and educator, I was always blown away by the incredibly high degree of leadership exhibited by many Americans from the time of the American Revolution, up until the early decades of the 1800s. Compared to the absolutely dismal quality of leadership prevalent

today, the period from 1765-1829 experienced a stupendous amount of leadership, guided by honor, perseverance, morality, intelligence, genuine patriotism, and competence. It is downright eerie how many great leaders we had at that time. Though even the great ones had their faults, as all people have, their actions and accomplishments far surpassed those alive today. When the British Parliament passed the hated Stamp Act in 1765, it was Samuel Adams who led the revolt against what was regarded as an unfair tax, unfair because the colonies had no one in Parliament who could speak up for them. During the succeeding crises brought on by the Townshend Acts, the Tea Act, and the Coercive Acts, it was Samuel Adams, the “Father of the American Revolution,” who persevered and started it all. His irascibility and stubbornness, qualities his friends and enemies complained about, ignited a revolution. John Adams was a distant cousin of

Samuel, and though at first a reluctant rebel, he was won over to the cause by his own conscience, not by those around him. A lawyer and farmer, Adams had a classical education, and could read and write ancient Greek and Latin. He was an intellectual of the highest degree, and researched even minor court cases for hours and hours, investigating legal precedent, even if it was a court case in ancient Rome. He was a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses, and head of the Board of War during the American Revolution. He was later our first vice-president and our second president. Adams was one of the most honest people who ever lived. As ornery as his cousin Sam, John Adams was a dynamo in Congress, eloquent, completely unbiased, and totally devoted to the cause of independence. He was the engine of the Revolution, a veritable powerhouse. John Adams’s wife, Abigail Smith Adams, was as honest and determined (continued on Page 4)

LEGION RIDERS LEAD THE WAY

American Legion Riders from Districts 1, 2, & 4/5 turned out to lead the Support the Troops Ride from New Berlin to the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee on Armed Forces Day, May 21st. This marked the 11th straight year the Riders were honored to lead the ride. Over 30 Riders participated to honor our troops.

June 2016 cover  
June 2016 cover  

Veterans Benefits

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