- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 5, 2021

A new book has arrived with a timely reminder to one and all.

“In the Company of Heroes: The Inspiring Stories of Medal of Honor Recipients from America’s Longest Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” by James Kitfield has a very succinct beginning.

“Dedicated to the uniformed volunteers who answered the call and fought their nation’s longest wars after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: The New Greatest Generation,” the author wrote in his dedication.

“The New Greatest Generation.”

Let’s not forget that accurate and thoughtful designation. The book presents the stories of 31 of these heroes — “the rare individuals,” as the author puts it.



Mr. Kitfield himself is a journalist specializing in defense issues, national security, intelligence and foreign policy — and he is currently a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in the nation’s capital.

“In researching these profiles, a common thread that ran through all the stories was a selflessness that led these warriors to lay down their own lives to protect their brothers in arms. Each faced a brush with eternity, and instead of giving in to the natural instinct for self-preservation, they took heroic action to save their friends and others,” Mr. Kitfield told Inside the Beltway.

“This selflessness is revealed in service members jumping on grenades and suicide vests to absorb the blasts so that others might live; returning to a snowy mountain peak teeming with al Qaeda fighters to try and retrieve a lost colleague, knowing that almost certain death beckoned,” he said.

Others charged into “the teeth of a Taliban ambush at night in a snowy forest to give wounded colleagues a chance to retreat,” Mr. Kitfield noted — or they braved “withering enemy fire” to care for the wounded. The book profiles those who rescued an American hostage from an “al Qaeda lair” — or entered a burning building under intense fire from ISIS terrorists to save others.

“That selflessness reflected in these stories prompted me to begin the book with a verse from the King James Bible — John 15:13: ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” Mr. Kitfield said.

The book was published by Center Street, the conservative imprint of the Hachette Book Group which counts among its authors Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro and Pete Hegseth, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump Jr.

ONE FOR THE ANTHEM

The state of Texas recently put 666 new laws into effect addressing a huge variety of issues, including budget, law enforcement matters and the school curriculum. One bill in particular, however, stood out.

The “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act” will require professional sports teams who receive funding from Texas to play the national anthem before their games.

The force behind the legislation can be traced back to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who felt compelled to push the bill after Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” regular Mark Cuban opted to omit the anthem before 13 of his team’s games.

Mr. Cuban, said to be politically independent, initially noted that his concerns about the patriotic tune were affected because he and other team executives “hear the voices of those who feel the anthem does not represent them.”

Others disagreed.

The National Basketball Association stated in February that the anthem would be a fixture in all future games. A Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 11-14 found that 76% of the respondents approved of the anthem being played at sports events. Another 74% said it was “important” to them that the anthem should be played.

The Texas bill itself passed in April and went into effect — along with the 665 other laws — on Sept. 1.

And now what? The media is watching this one.

“Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks face test on new Texas national anthem law,” reported Deadline Hollywood. “Mark Cuban may have to pay Texas millions if he doesn’t play the national anthem at home games,” said the Houston Chronicle.

THINGS ARE TOUGH IN BIDENVILLE

“Voters are irked with President Biden.”

So says a CNN news-analysis headline.

“The single biggest indicator of how the 2022 midterm elections will go for the two parties is how the public thinks about President Joe Biden. Which is ugh — if you are a Democratic candidate looking toward trying to win a race in a swing district or state come November,” writes CNN columnist Chris Cillizza, who cited new survey numbers in the report.

“The latest bad news on that front came Thursday in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Biden’s approval in the survey slid all the way to 43%, a drop of 6 points in a single month. His disapproval, not surprisingly shot up 7 points to 51%. Those numbers for Biden — and Democrats — are bad. Obviously. But there’s another number buried in that question that should worry them even more. And it’s this: 41% of people said they strongly disapprove of the job Biden is doing, while just 19% strongly approve of how he is handling his job as president,” the columnist notes.

“The best news for Biden and his party is that it’s September 2021, not September 2022. If his job approval numbers in a year’s time are anywhere near where they are today, Democrats will likely be facing a wave perched to come crashing down on them on Election Day,” he predicts.

POLL DU JOUR

• 44% of registered U.S. voters think that as a country, we are “less safe” than we were before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; 65% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

• 23% overall say the nation is “about as safe” now than before the attacks; 14% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.

• 29% overall say the nation is “more safe” now than we were before the attacks; 20% of Republicans, 32% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.

• 3% overall are unsure; 1% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist Poll of 1,145 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 26-31.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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