Teach Your Children Well: The Lessons from the Greatest Generation - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome everyone to Family Talk. It's a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Welcome to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh and I hope you had a peaceful weekend. You know, as we enter the summer months, we turn our attention to outdoor activities like grilling, swimming or fishing, which is one of Dr. Dobson's favorite pastimes. Well, we should also make sure to pay attention to our national holidays and our days of remembrance as well. Did you know that tomorrow is the 79th anniversary of D-Day? And for that occasion? On today's and tomorrow's programs, we have a special interview featuring our Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the Dobson Institute, Mr. Gary Bauer. He'll be interviewing Tom Rose, who served in the White House as chief strategist and senior advisor to Vice President Mike Pence.

Together these two men will be discussing how we must teach our children well about the sacrifices and lessons of the greatest generation. Now, Gary Bauer, as I mentioned, is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy here at the JDFI. Previously, he served on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and was president of the Family Research Council. He also served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor for President Ronald Reagan and under Secretary of Education as well. He's the author of the book, Children at Risk, co-authored with Dr. James Dobson. Gary and his wife Carol, live in Fairfax, Virginia. And now here is Gary Bauer with his guest Tom Rose on today's edition of Family Talk.

Gary Bauer: One of Dr. Dobson's big issues is, and one of the things he helps you on regularly is how you as parents or as grandparents can raise your children the right way, raise them based on the teachings of the Bible, raise them knowing what America's all about. Dr. Dobson has spoken eloquently over the years about how America was a country formed by men who believed in the God of the Bible. In fact, they found the most important ideas about America in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It was there that they found the ideas that undergirded the American founding, particularly the idea that liberty comes not from government but from God, and that's the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, and we want to talk a little bit about that today. The reason I've got Tom Rose with us, you may or may not have heard Tom's name.

He has got an incredible biography. He was the editor of the Jerusalem Post. He was one of the top advisors. The Vice President Mike Pence at the White House advised the vice President on foreign policy and on many other topics, and Tom has been an eloquent spokesman in Defense of America as one nation under God. Tom is an orthodox Jew. I'm a relatively orthodox Christian. And we've done many things together and I can't remember one time, Tom, that you and I have disagreed about anything of real import, so it's an honor for me. I know Dr. Dobson will be pleased to see you on the show because I know he's aware of your background and your contributions.

One of the things Dr. Dobson feels strongly about is something, Tom, that you and I feel strongly about. Our children have to understand how blessed they are, how incredible it has been for them as children to be born in a place called America. I mean, this is why all the Patriots that we celebrate played such an incredible part in the history of our country. I know that's something that you care about too, Tom.

Tom Rose: First of all, it's a great honor and privilege to be here. I've tremendous fan of Dr. Dobson and everything that the Dobson Family Center does and has done. You reminded me, if you'll let me continue with his thought for just a second. The very first speech that Moses gives the children of Israel after the release from bondage, it's a remarkable speech. What does he say? Does he talk about the power of the nation and our rights have been restored and we're going to be a great people? No, his speech is teach your children. His speech is we cannot be a good free or noble people if our children don't know our story.

It was about the power of education. It was an unusual speech for a conquering hero, so to speak. Normally Churchill's victory in Europe day speech, which is famous and fabulous and all the other great speeches, Demosthenes and all. Moses basically says, "Teach your kids because if you don't teach your kids, the sacrifices that we've made, the sufferings that we've had to forebear and experience are for not because knowledge isn't cumulative it. It's not passed from generation to generation if it's not taught. Therefore, the single most important thing we can do is teach our values to our kids."

Gary Bauer: Yeah, that's well said. I mean, I've actually quoted from that Moses passage many times when I was under Secretary of Education. You know folks, we're in a battle in America right now about what it is we ought to teach our children. We've discovered in recent years that our own children are not being taught American history in not only college and in the high schools, but they're not even being taught in elementary schools in junior high schools. In fact, if they're being taught anything about American history, they're being taught anti-American history, and that's deadly. I mean, I think it explains why the research shows that only about a quarter of our children have feelings of love of country toward America. So as Dr. Dobson has pointed out many times, America with its flaws and with our national sin of slavery has nonetheless brought more freedom and more opportunity to more people around the world than any other system of government.

And so to see our own children not understanding that and being indoctrinated to believe that this is not a good country, this isn't a great country, that it's an evil country, that breaks my heart. Tom, I know it breaks yours. And so recently, when I had the opportunity with my family, with my wife Carol, our adult children and their spouses, to go to France and to visit Normandy, the site of one of the great events in American history and in European history where courageous young Americans who did understand why this country is important and why we must stand up against evil began the liberation of Europe at Normandy. And there's something about walking along those beaches and hearing the description of what it must have been like on June the sixth, 1944 when 160,000 young Americans were dumped on that beach and they had to fight inch by inch to begin the liberation of Europe. Tom, when you've been there, what are some of the emotions you've felt?

Tom Rose: Well, it's walking as you did through the rows and rows of crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, which is at the eastern edge of the five allied beaches in Normandy. There's a sense, there's a feeling that's simply overwhelming. It's 170 acres of crosses and stars of David distinguished exclusively by rank, date of birth, date of death. It's like 9,500 graves, about 80% of whom I think were D-Day, yes casualties. You can think on the one hand, "Wow, how anonymous. It's a shame." On the other hand, there's a unity there. A unity. These are kids from Iowa and Kansas and California and Florida who probably, Gary, might not have been able to pinpoint France on a map. Who are brought from their homes, shipped across an ocean. Remember, there were 3 million American service people in Britain, 3 million. There were over 150,000 British and Canadian soldiers who hit one of those five beaches on June the sixth.

These are kids, 18, 19, 20 years old. Very few had any of the kinds of educational opportunities that exist today, yet they all knew why they were there. They all knew why they were there, and it wasn't simply a band of brothers. They knew their purpose and their mission was to free a suffering humanity, to end evil, to save our freedoms. I'm just struck by the fact there were five allied beaches. The British had three, we had two, and the four other beaches did relatively well. Omaha was a slaughterhouse. We had spent four days in heavy aerial and artillery bombardment of what we thought were the fixed German positions at Omaha, and it really didn't work. So when we hit that beach, it risked the entire operation because if even one of the beaches failed, then the bridgehead couldn't con consolidate. It couldn't be one bridgehead. But these guys, they hit the beaches at 6:30 in the morning, by noon they're still on the beaches taking incredible casualties, artillery, 4,000 ships, 20,000 planes, and it was still a very close run thing. And these were kids.

Gary Bauer: Tom, so you keep saying they were kids, but of course they were doing a very manly thing. These 18 and 19 year olds today, now, because I know them personally. There are many wonderful 18 and 19 year olds, but they don't know about the 18 and 19 year olds of previous generations that sacrificed everything so they could enjoy today as Americans, all of the liberties that we have. When we were walking through the cemetery, I found myself tearing up, there are 46 sets of brothers buried in the cemetery. So think about that. There were families that got noticed that not one, but two of their sons had perished liberating Europe, fighting actual Nazis and liberating Europe. A dark age had settled upon Europe and the people of Europe and France and the other countries in Eastern Europe, they had lost their freedom of religion, their freedom of speech, their freedom of assembly, and it was America and these other countries that came to the rescue.

So I got very emotional about it. And then Tom, I don't know if I mentioned this to you, but I want to share it with our audience. Unbeknownst to me, my family called the cemetery ahead of time and found out that if you're an American visiting the cemetery and you request it, they are willing when the end of day taps are played and the American flag is lowered at the cemetery. Which in itself is a very emotional experience, they are willing to take another US flag, run it up the flagpole, salute it, bring it back down, and then give it to an American family that made this request. So to my shock and surprise, I watched the flag go up and be brought down and given to me in the name of Stanley Spike Bauer, who was my father and who fought in the South Pacific during World War II.

So he wasn't even at Normandy, but nonetheless, they were willing to honor him because he was one of the soldiers in World War II that helped defeat the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese warlords. So Tom, I know you are aware of another round of heroism in addition to all that was happening in those beaches, and that was what happened at Pointe du Hoc, which was this sheer cliff that had on the top of it, Nazi soldiers with guns that they could point down that cliff and these rangers, 265 of them were ordered to claim the high ground, and I'd like if we could to listen to a part of a speech that Ronald Reagan made on the anniversary. I believe it was the 40 year anniversary of what happened at Pointe du Hoc. If we could play that for our listeners right now.

Ronald Reagan: 40 summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs. Some of you were hardly more than boys with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love. The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant the mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge and pray God we have not lost it, that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.

You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause, and you were right not to doubt. You all knew that some things are worth dying for, one's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you. The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4:00 AM. In Kansas, they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-Day, their rock hard belief that providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here, that God was an ally in this great cause. And so the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them, "Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask his blessing in what we are about to do." Also, that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua, "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." These are the things that impelled them. These are the things that shaped the unity of the allies.

Gary Bauer: When I hear those words, Tom, even now, I worked for Reagan for eight years, incredible experience, those words are incredibly emotional to me. I'm sure they are to you too. But you know the thing that jumps out at me, I know as he describes the America that existed when those men landed on that beach, how all over America it would've been prayer and worship and pleading with God for his help. I know that was the America of World War II. Today, if you say those sorts of things in public life in America, oh, we should pray about that or our prayers are with you, you are berated. You are knocked down. We've gone from a country that could liberate Europe from Nazism to a country where powerful forces are trying to marginalize religious faith.

They're trying to tell our children and grandchildren that God and religion had nothing to do with the founding of America. This is why it is so important, this history, rediscovering it even as adults, will arm us in explaining to our children and grandchildren what America is all about. Because I think the irony here is we saved a continent and restored their religious liberty, restored their freedom of speech, restored their freedom to assemble, and I believe, Dr. Dobson believes, the James Dobson Family Institute believes that we are in danger of losing all those freedoms right here in the United States.

Tom Rose: It's beyond a point of principle that one can argue that we are a far cry from the nation we were 80 years ago, 79 years ago. Ironically, it was also June the sixth, 1940. That's four years before D-Day as France was about to fall, and Britain stood literally alone against the greatest military colossus in history that of Nazi Germany and their allies. That Winston Churchill gave his famous, we shall fight on the beach's speech. And in that speech at the very end, he prophesied about what would happen after we fight on the beaches, we'll fight on the landing grounds and fight in the fields.

He then said that, "We'll never surrender, and if in the event, which I do not for a moment believe this island or a large part of it were subjected and starving, then our empire beyond the seas armed and guarded by the British fleet would carry on the struggle until God's good time, the new world with all its power and might steps forward to the rescue and the liberation of the old." Of course, he was talking about the United States. We weren't at war then, but we were soon enough, and sure enough, it was that power, it was that might, it was that conviction, it was that faith, it was that purpose of God that the new world shall come to the rescue and liberation of the old.

Gary Bauer: Yes, Churchill could turn these phrases like nobody else. By the way, Tom, you wouldn't know this, but Winston Churchill may be one of Dr. Dobson's number one historic figures if you're not including the heroes and heroines of the Bible. He has talked many, many times about the wisdom of Churchill and the soaring rhetoric, and he's got a number of Churchill mementos, which he proudly shows to people. He's, he's going to love hearing you make that quote, which was really prophetic. It brought to mind the fact that I recall reading some years ago that Winston Churchill, on the day that he got the news about Pearl Harbor, you knew it was a terrible event, but he essentially said he slept the sound asleep he ever had because he knew once the United States was in the conflict, there was no doubt in his mind that free men and women would prevail.

Tom Rose: He said, I mean, it's a famous quote he said. He wrote in his diary and actually confided to Jock Colville, who was his personal private secretary. He said that, "Being saturated and satiated with the and sensation, I went to bed that night and slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful," which I thought was extraordinary.

Gary Bauer: What oratory to rally freedom. Tom, there is so much more that we have to talk about. Friends, I'd like to ask you to tune back in tomorrow. I'm going to talk about the Holocaust and Tom, you've got some insights there that I think people need to hear. And all of this my friends, again, is to impress on you that educating our children and grandchildren about freedom, these are freedom's children, these are freedom's grandchildren. We need to educate them because the public schools aren't, and it's important that we do that. So this is Gary Bauer. I'm signing off from the James Dobson Policy Center. I want you to join us again tomorrow on the anniversary of D-Day. We'll talk to you tomorrow.

Roger Marsh: We must never forget what those young men did on the beaches of Normandy. It's a message to be shared with our younger generations about the real cost of freedom. Now, that was just part one of the conversation with today's co-host, Gary Bauer and his guest, Tom Rose here on Family Talk. Tomorrow, they'll be discussing why we should instill in our children the great story of America's history and why it is something that we should never forget. Now, friends, before we leave the Air Force today, a brief reminder that the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute is completely listener supported. It's because of you that we are able to bring quality content to you each and every day without fail and provide valuable resources for you and your family. And here is the really big news. This month here in June, we have been blessed by some special friends with the matching grant.

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Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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