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Last Wednesday, President Barack Obama told more than 1,000 jubilant, uniform-prepped-and-polished graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy that the world has a “new feeling about America” and more respect for its leadership. If only it were true.

“There’s a new feeling about America,” President Obama declared. “I see it everywhere I go, from London and Prague, to Tokyo and Seoul, to Rio and Jakarta. There’s a new confidence in our leadership.”

Obama boasted, “We can say with confidence and pride: The United States is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.”

“Stronger, safer and more respected”?

“Stronger,” as in President Obama’s plan to initiate more than $500 billion in automatic cuts to the defense budget over a decade, starting next January. Bloomberg Business Week reported that Obama’s Democrat-controlled Senate voted Thursday to authorize another reduced Pentagon war and defense-related spending package.

“Safer,” as in the report card from the Bipartisan Policy Center, including many of the original 9/11 Commission members, which reported on national preparedness 10 years after those catastrophic terrorist attacks: “Our country is undoubtedly safer and more secure than it was a decade ago,” but, “we fail to achieve the security we could or should have.” The report concluded that the federal government has failed to meet nine of the original 9/11 Commission’s 41 recommendations.

“More respected,” as in the Washington Times report that, according to a poll by even two left-leaning groups, “A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than two years ago and believe President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security.”

A few months ago in Feb. 2012, Gallup reported that “Americans continue to express much greater dissatisfaction than satisfaction with the United States’ position in the world, and their views have improved little since hitting a low point in 2008.”

Why do we have such a weak, unsecured and disrespected U.S.?

Maybe a significant reason is because President Obama has paraded U.S. weaknesses and mistakes to the world since his 2009 “apology tour,” in which he embarked on global travel with his apologetic Top 10 decries of America, as detailed by the Heritage Foundation:

1) Apology to France and Europe (“America Has Shown Arrogance”) in speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.

2) Apology to the Muslim world (“We Have Not Been Perfect”) in President Obama’s interview with Al Arabiya, Jan. 27, 2009.

3) Apology to the Summit of the Americas (“At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms”) in President Obama’s address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009.

4) Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders (“Some Restoration of America’s Standing in the World”) in the news conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009.

5) Apology for the War on Terror (“We Went off Course”) in President Obama’s speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.

6) Apology for Guantanamo in France (“Sacrificing Your Values”) in speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.

7) Apology before the Turkish parliament (“Our Own Darker Periods in Our History”) in speech by President Obama to the Turkish parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.

8) Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas (“The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors”) in opinion editorial by President Obama: “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16, 2009.

9) Apology for the mistakes of the CIA (“Potentially We’ve Made Some Mistakes”) in remarks by the president to CIA employees, CIA headquarters, Langley, Va., April 20, 2009. The remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memoranda detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects.

10) Apology for Guantanamo in Washington (“A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies”) in President Obama’s speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.

Sandwich all of those apologies, and countless others from 2010-2011, with the recent March 2012 apologetic for the unintentional burning of the Qurans in Afghanistan, and we have a perfect recipe for America’s global disrespect and dissolution.

Mr. President, you don’t build national or leadership strength, safety and respect by groveling and groping.

If my readers want examples how America becomes “stronger, safer, and more respected,” then look no further than those who truly create those U.S. qualities and deserve the credit for them: our amazing, exemplary, courageous U.S. military personnel, especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and republic, like my brother, Wieland, and some of whom I met on my two trips to Iraq.

One thing we can say for sure: While the federal government and this administration has weakened our standing in the world and the lack of leadership by the commander in chief, our dedicated servicemen and women are truly responsible for strengthening it. To all who have or are serving our great country, I salute you!

My father fought and was wounded in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. I served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea. I am also an honorary Marine. My brother, Aaron, served in the U.S. Army in Korea. And our brother, Wieland, served in the U.S. Army as well in Vietnam, where he paid the ultimate price on June 3, 1970. Wieland was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with “V” Device (First Oak Leaf Cluster) for his heroism on Aug. 27, 1970. His name is etched among the 58,000 fallen service men and women on the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington, D.C. Click here to watch my 91-year-old mother who recently spoke about Wieland in her interview on Fox’s “Huckabee” show.

It’s fitting for a soldier like Wieland that Memorial Day falls every year a week or so before the anniversary day (June 3) that he gave his life for the cause of freedom. Though we didn’t win the war of Vietnam, my brother did not die in vain, just like other service men and women today.

Whether it’s for our freedom or another’s, the words of Jesus are true for all: “There is no greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for another.”

About such patriots, Gen. George S. Patton was right: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

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