Professor Loconte Recalls Churchill's Call to Preserve Liberty
Independence Day reflection looks at Prime Minister's moral courage
NEW YORK, July 6, 2010—On July 4, Joe Loconte, Assistant Professor of History at The King’s College, wrote an Independence Day reflection about another significant July 4. Published in "The Weekly Standard," Loconte looks at Winston Churchill’s speech to the House of Commons on July 4, 1940, which “rebuked the United States for sitting on the sidelines while Britain stood alone to defend freedom against totalitarianism.”
The article recounts the reasons for Britain’s destruction of the French navy after the French “signed an armistice with Nazi Germany.” In the face of a growing tyranny, Churchill desired the support of his allies. However, President Roosevelt denied the request for aid, and “promised to keep the country out of another European war.”
Loconte believes that this reflected poorly on America. Churchill, rather, was the hero:
“Here was Churchill’s moral realism on display. Most everyone expected a German invasion of Britain at any moment, a trial whose outcome was uncertain, but which certainly would cause unspeakable suffering and destruction. Nevertheless, with a keen sense of the transcendent meaning of the moment, Churchill summoned his nation to find the courage required for survival. ‘This is no time for doubt or weakness,’ he said. ‘It is the supreme hour to which we have been called.’”
Loconte concludes that “Churchill’s speech is a bracing challenge to both English-speaking nations to resist the siren song of appeasement and renew their commitment to democratic freedom—and to one another.” In a time when liberty cannot be taken for granted, Churchill’s speech is a strong reminder of the battle being fought—from 1776 to 1940 to 2010.
To read the entire article, please visit "The Weekly Standard's" website.
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