Archive for the ‘Fallen Heroes’ Category

Memorial Day 2009: Roundup

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Just a sloppy hodge-podge of things that really should be pointed out, tossed in a stew with some truly amazing stories.

Musket Balls: Memorial Day Proclamation from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Locutisprime at Brutally Honest: If We Build It, Will They Come?

American Digest: The cemetary at the end of Gerard’s street. Also, if you aren’t reading The Name in the Stone every single year at this time and again on Veteran’s day — you should. Make the time.

Right Wing News: John Hawkins’ conversation with a 101st Airborne vet.

Cassy Fiano: Frank Buckles, the Last WWI Veteran.

Pundit and Pundette: Obama meets with Rolling Thunder.

Exile in Portales: Arlington.

Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: A Lump in Your Throat. Some stories behind the names.

Blackfive: Remembering my Uncle James.

Neptunus Lex: What happened in the winter of 1943.

Mudville Gazette: Lance Cpl. Brady Gustafson receives the Navy Cross.

CDR Salamander: Remembering Lt. Peter Russell.

Flopping Aces: God must have a special place for soldiers. (The picture above, of Maj. Zembiec’s widow, is from this one.)

Map The Fallen Project.

Atlas Shrugs: Pamela Gellar has some burial plots she would like our President to see before he gets too carried away apologizing to Germany for things World War II-related.

I’ve Got a Bracelet, Too

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Matthew Sheffield, Newsbusters.

In recent memory, every presidential debate eventually distills down into a few catchphrases. Al Gore became known for his sighs and love of lockboxes. John Kerry actually served in Vietnam. Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.

I've Got A Bracelet, TooBarack Obama has a bracelet, too.

That inartful comeback will likely filter out through the political ether in the days ahead. What might not filter through our partisan press is that shortly after pointing out that, like John McCain, he sports a bracelet given to him by a military family, Barack Obama had to stop and look down find out the name of the soldier he’s honoring.

That soldier is Ryan David Jopek. Barack Obama doesn’t appear to have known that fact.

Here’s his complete line:

“Jim, let me just make a point. I’ve got a bracelet too. From, Sergeant, uh, uh, from the mother of, uh, Sergeant, Ryan David Jopek.”

Had a Republican, say Sarah Palin, made this gaffe, who wants to bet that we wouldn’t hear this clip repeated endlessly during the post-debate spin shows and in the days ahead? How much would the sincerity of our hypothetical Republican politician be called into question.

I didn’t hear it discussed once in the post-debate coverage. Did you?

Let’s be fair, here. Can you imagine how the mother of Sergeant Jopek would have felt, had Obama simply let this go — right while the bracelet was dangling on his own wrist? He had to say something. I hope that’s what motivated him, and I think he does have some human decency, and that that is indeed the case.

Now having said that, this kind of thing strikes me as extraordinarily sad. Because the people who are most enthused about supporting Barack Obama, voting for him, defending him — they don’t understand there’s a problem here. They have their own special definition of caring about someone.

They live in a special world in which nobody actually labors toward getting something done, except in the realm of “CALWWNTY” (Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet). Outside of the CALWWNTY vicious cycle of civil-rights-movements “we’re still working on that,” anything that requires effort is a manifestation of someone not caring about someone else. It’s the way they were raised. If you’re working on something, someone else should jump in, do it all for you, and present you with the results, immediately, or else you’re a victim of someone else’s lack of caring. Wherever there’s caring, there has to be a quick fix. Real work, therefore, exists only where people don’t care about each other…unless everyone is working on it, which is why CALWWNTY gets a pass. As does building a post-modern Star Trek utopian universe.

In that utopia they’re trying to build, people simply — exist. Mill about. Order free chocolate treats from food replicators whenever they want. They don’t really labor toward anything…not unless all of them are similarly engaged.

And so, to some of us, Obama having to re-check the name on his bracelet was just natural. The Sergeant had a funny name, after all! To the rest of us, this completely invalidates the point he was trying to make…and it’s not because we had preconceived desires to see his point invalidated. It’s because he really, truly, does not “care” in the way we define caring. He wants to see people alive and healthy and whole, but wants to see them abandon the effort on which they’ve spent their blood, sweat and tears. Once that’s done, in his world, everything will be all okay, because people will be intact, feelin’ good, unscathed, and covered by some fabulous universal medical care. And not really doing much of anything.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

John Wayne on Taps

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

H/T: Rick.

Selfless Sacrifice

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Two Iraqi soldiers took down a suicide bomber at the cost of their own lives.

A spate of bombings, including a suicide attack on Iraqi soldiers attending an Army Day ceremony, rocked Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 32, Iraqi officials said.

The suicide attack on the soldiers took place in Karrada neighbourhood as gifts were being handed out to troops by a civilian organisation on Army Day, an official holiday marking the 87th anniversary of the founding of the army.
US military spokesman Lieutenant Steven Stover said that according to eyewitnesses two Iraqi soldiers were killed when they flung themselves onto the attacker as he detonated his explosives.

“They absorbed some of the blast. They saved a lot of lives,” Stover told AFP.

“The selfless sacrifice of the two Iraqi (soldiers) should not be forgotten,” he said in a later statement. “These two Iraqi martyrs gave their lives so that others might live.”

I hope their sacrifice is remembered appropriately and with high honors. Not sure how…I just wouldn’t want it to be ignored altogether. That would send a pretty crappy message.

This entire situation occasionally privileges us to see the very worst humanity has to offer — at which time, I note, there is no shortage of politically agitated factions, here stateside, invested in making sure everyone knows about it. Well, equally often if not moreso, it also shows us the very best of human behavior as well. So guess what?

What say you New York Times. How about run this on the front page for an entire month in a row.

A Hero Sleeps II

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Millions upon millions upon millions of my fellow citizens want this war to be over. Like…yesterday.

Could it be they just don’t like the body bags pouring in? They have so much respect for human life they want it to stop, whatever the price may be?

Or…do they not like to be reminded of the distance between the true potential of human courage, and what they themselves show on a daily basis?

I leave it to the reader to decide.

Rest easy and God Bless, noble warrior. This is your world, the rest of us just live in it.

A Hero Sleeps

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I figure people in the U.P. in Michigan are nice. That’s a crass generalization and I know it is prone to error, but I’m sticking to it. I’m adopting it as one of my personal prejudices, without apologies. I’ve met some of them, back when I lived in Detroit, roaming across the bridge past Sault Ste. Marie. They’re just plain nice.

Please join me in extending your best wishes to the family of Army Sgt. 1C James A. Priestap. And while you’re at it, just as a mental exercise…try to envision what it’s like to stand guard with enemy snipers around. Snipers who actually have the wherewithal to get some sniping done. Knowing they’re out there looking for things to snipe.

We got thousands of men like Sgt. Priestap out there right now…men and boys, who understand this fully and volunteer to serve anyway. Follow the link above, and you can write just an encouraging word or two to be passed on to his family. Just something to think about.