When I was born to a young soldier and his high-school sweetheart in the spring of 1989, the motto of the U.S. Army was, “Be All You Can Be.” It became something of a slogan for us young brats who dreamed of bright futures in a newly peaceful world. The Cold War was over, the economy was booming, bipartisanship was yielding results, and the 90s were a time of hortatory promise for American youth. All these years later, the motto is now “Army Strong”, and the American ethos it defends is one of resilience and spirited innovation in defiance of all forces of division. Amid ongoing war, recession, and profound uncertainty—as we yearn for the real and imagined glory of earlier times—we find our comfort in the Old Guard of Freedom, in the quiet dignity and faithful strength of those who defend a comfort we take as our inheritance.
We can merrily fret over storms at sea, with tempestuous cocktails and welcome reprieve from leaving the house, because soldiers remain at their posts, ever vigilant, come whatever darkness may. There is such pleasant insouciance in knowing that, of all possible fears, our greatest concern is not random terror, deranged tyrants, or martial crises, foreign or domestic, but a Category 1 hurricane. Our lady of wrath will certainly leave her mark, and there will be brokenness to mend when she leaves. But Sandy, too, shall pass.