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What Would You Die For?

Today is Memorial Day, and once again President Obama has fumbled the duties of his office. In some ways this should not surprise anyone; a man who fails to understand that the President of the United States - as the elected leader of a democratic republic - must never bow to anyone because this would symbolically subordinate the people he represents to a foreign power, would not grasp the significance of honoring our fallen heroes. But in some ways it is truly baffling how President Obama misses such obvious truths. The man rose to power precisely because he understands the power of symbols and gestures, words and timing. But perhaps he fails to grasp the importance of Memorial Day. Perhaps President Obama thinks that the uniforms, parades, and imagery are superficial and it doesn't matter whether he, as President, is even there in person. Strange as that may sound, it could be that many people do not understand sacrifice, honor, and valor. After all, we do not often think of death, and few among us would be willing to lay our lives down for any reason if we had a choice.

Life has a certain calculus to it. We make choices all the time, based on a simple evaluation of whether the cost is justified by what we get in return. So, we go to school because we receive education, we work hard at our jobs because we hope for good wages and rewards. We build for the future, but always the decision is based on something like 'do without this now, get something better later'. Enlightened self-interest, perhaps. But the soldier does not operate by such rules. He risks his safety and life for purposes which seldom benefit him directly at all, and often our veterans give up not only comforts and conveniences to do a hard, risky job, but many take permanent injury for a nation who too often thinks they are not due anything more than a small decoration and a few medical benefits. Many of the veterans from the Revolutionary, Civil, World, Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars suffered significant financial losses and permanent disabilities for their service. And that does not touch the cost of the dead.

I have some passing acquaintance with death. Not just the death of family and friends, I mean the personal consideration of my own demise. In 2006, a less-than-fully-informed oncologist told my wife that I probably would not live another year. I was fortunate to find much better medical care and advice, but at the time it also reminded me that there were responsibilities to meet, just in case I could not be there for my family as long as I would like. It's sobering to have to look at your life in sum, and consider whether you have really done anything which mattered, or made a difference in someone's life. The soldier never has to seriously worry on that count, but the consideration of death is far more imminent and real for him than for the civilian. The Fort Hood shootings remind us that simply being in uniform can make you a target for a monster, and those who serve on active duty in the Middle East cannot take anything for granted. It is a difficult burden to carry every day, yet far too few Americans consider that everyone in the military is a volunteer, and combat forces are built from men who choose to risk their lives because they believe in the cause and their team. The soldier thinks on a different level from the civilian, and his ideals are sharper in focus and far more substantial because he understands the cost he may have to pay for them. Whether Marine, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, the American soldier lives a life of idealism far more authentic than anything most people can imagine. For the American soldier, Memorial Day is not about the uniform or the flag, but his buddies and the meaning they all believe and live by. For the American citizen, Memorial Day should be about recognizing a price paid by our soldiers that most of us have never seriously had to consider facing in our own lives. The burden, not only of fighting wars declared by politicians but protecting American citizens and interests the world over, and establishing the footholds of real freedom in places that have never known it before, and would never know it but for the bravery and valor of men from common community but rare caliber, is carried in daily service by more than a million men in arms, most of whom will never receive even a fair portion of the honor and reward they deserve, and some of whom will be maimed or die at an age far too young for the fortitude of their hearts and the injustice of their loss haunts at anyone who considers the cost paid by such men against the callous disregard by Congressmen, Senators, and self-serving cowards who think it meet for brave men to take up the challenge they would never themselves be willing to face. It is vital for us, the American people, to remember our veterans and what they have done for us, and on Memorial Day face the cost they pay, in blood, sweat, and tears, on our behalf.


Semper Fidelis!

Semper Paratus!

This We'll Defend!

Non Sibi Sed Patriae!

Above All!

Thank you, Veterans! We the people owe you more than our treasury can pay, more than our media ever thinks about, and more than these occasional parades and passing tributes, but this nation is made by you and your ancestors and your progeny, and we thank you for your valor, sacrifice, and honor. May America always find such men, and may God grant us never forget you or your work!


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Link: <a href="http://www.n... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Link: Remembering Heroes, Obama Visits Lincoln National Cemetery

U.S. President Barack Obama Monday is participating in a Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.

In his radio address Saturday, Obama urged Americans to take time out to reflect on the fallen soldiers who have helped this country go from "humble beginnings" to "the most prosperous, most powerful" nation on earth.

"As we commemorate Memorial Day, I ask you to hold all our fallen heroes in your hearts, and if you can, to lay a flower where they have come to rest," he said in the radio address.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden is at Arlington National Cemetery. He participated in a wreath-laying ceremony there and delivered remarks.

Obama will head back to Washington Monday afternoon.


Nicely done DJ.Bar... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Nicely done DJ.

Barry makes plans around HIM. Why should HE change HIS plans when a holiday such as Memorial Day suddenly pops up UNEXPECTEDLY. Oh, he still recognizes the affects of symbols and gestures, he'll duck over to a memorial park in Illinois.

And before the usual yahoo's jump in with "Well look what ...... did!" Yeah, with few exceptions, they were a disappointment as well.

Nice try, Lee:Wash... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Nice try, Lee:

Washington Post, today:

"Obama Memorial Day Speech Rained Out"
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/05/obama-memorial-day-speech-rain.html?wprss=44


Also from the Washington Post:

"President Obama Will Skip Memorial Day"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR2010052702696.html

"Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, expressed disappointment at the White House move. "Arlington is hallowed ground, and the center of our nation's attention on Memorial Day," Rieckhoff said. "Unfortunately, President Obama and his family will not be there with us."

Of course, in the past President Obama made sure to recognize dead veterans - in his audience:

"Obama Confuses Memorial Day With Veteran's Day"
http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/05/figures-obama-confuses-memorial-day-with-veterans-day-again/

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today - our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

The man does not begin to understand.

As a Korean War vet, though... (Below threshold)
Don L:

As a Korean War vet, though now too old to fight for my nation, I have long ago concluded that I would no longer be able to fight/die for this nation that has as it's official law at the highest levels of the land the legal slaughter of million innocent unborns.

That we have now elected the greatest pro-abortion/infanticide president in history(even with the aid of religion) merely reinforces that decision.

Freedom from evil to commit even worse evil makes no sense - nevermind that it is moral hypocrisy of the highest order - that we must all answer for someday.

There are a fair number of ... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

There are a fair number of conservatives who put their religion above their country. It's one of the reasons Christian religious extremism is such a national security concern for progressives.

Abandoning the topic alread... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Abandoning the topic already, Lee? That's weak, even by your tissue-like standards.

"It's one of the reasons Ch... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"It's one of the reasons Christian religious extremism is such a national security concern for progressives."

The only CONCERN that 'progressives' have is that they cannot CONTROL those Christians.

After all, when one has a conscience, it PREVENTS or DISSUADES them from doing things that "progressives" often find NECESSARY in order to accomplish their desired ends.

Let's not play Lee's game, ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Let's not play Lee's game, Garandfan. Rather than face the truth of his idol's perfidy (afraid of a little rain, Mr President? What are you, the Wicked Witch of Chicago?), he tries to divert attention from the topic to a spurious attack on the faith of soldiers. Let's stay on topic, even if Lee can't manage that.

(Delusional sputtering from Lee-boy in 4, 3, 2 ...)

OK lee. Instead of just sla... (Below threshold)
jim m:

OK lee. Instead of just slandering a whole group why not provide some concrete examples with something to back up your bullshit?

Fact is that the left doesn't give a rip about our military except when they want something to spit on.

"except when they want some... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"except when they want something to spit on"

Or a dynamite photo-op to prove their "patriotism".

It doesn't bother me too mu... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

It doesn't bother me too much that Obama is not at Arlington today. I do not believe that his purpose, if he were there, would be sincere. Let him do his photo ops somewhere else.

It does bother me that that bufoon Biden is there.

In lieu of that hypocrite, I wish that the mother and father, or widow, of one of the fallen had laid the wreath. Those are the ones to be honored, along with the loved ones for whom they grieve.

Parenthetically, I believe that the most beneficial gesture that Lee Ward could make would be to donate his/her brain to science. Maybe they could learn something about how thinking gets so scrambled in the human brain.

"Abandoning the topic al... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

"Abandoning the topic already, Lee? That's weak, even by your tissue-like standards."

Lol. There are extremists who would choose to die for the religious beliefs before they'd die for their country. That IS the topic. "What would you die for?"

Murdering religious extremists who would murder an abortion doctor - and possible face the death penalty as a result, just one example.

Try to drop the personal attacks and stay on topic, Drummond.

The topic, Lee-wad, is vete... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The topic, Lee-wad, is veterans of wars. Your personal jihad will have to wait for another day. Any further attempt to derail the thread will result in the deletion of all such attempts.

This is Memorial Day. There is no Jihad Hijack Day here. You might have better luck at Dhimmi Underground

Biden may be a buffoon, but... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Biden may be a buffoon, but I don't think that he has ever hated this country like obama has and does. In that regard he is infinitely preferable to be at Arlington today.

Well said! Thank you!... (Below threshold)

Well said! Thank you!

Obama has a tin ear because... (Below threshold)
Herman Husband:

Obama has a tin ear because, culturally, he's not an American.

Just as he fakes his support for the White Sox, but at the same time can't name a single player.

There's just something ALIEN about this guy.

Lee says,"Try to dro... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Lee says,
"Try to drop the personal attacks and stay on topic, Drummond."

Bwahahahaha!

Lee Ward, master of personal attacks when he's losing the argument, wants the author to stop using personal attacks! That's rich!

Good work, Lee, for providing the comedy relief for the thread!
-----------------

On the actual topic of the read:
D'OH-bama may be our President, but it is obvious he is not one of us.
I do believe he is our first anti-American President.

[ HIJACK ATTEMPT - deleted ... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

[ HIJACK ATTEMPT - deleted ]

LeeYou just dont g... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Lee

You just dont get it.

And sadly I dont think you ever will.

I went and posted my own M... (Below threshold)

I went and posted my own Memorial Day post on my blog after reading this, as I think that sometimes others may not realize that the soldier has paid the ultimate price but the family carries the loss day after day year after year.

We never forget. Many times we are silent, as when we speak inevitably a naysayer will challenge like happened here on Wizbang a few days ago, when one chose to remind me that my loss was less, and that I should ponder the villages in Vietnam and those who died there also.

It is hard to share when you deal with that. I have heard every story because the Vietnam soldier was treated so poorly. I had a teacher in high school let me KNOW exactly what he thought of me and my dad(which he said that he was glad dad was killed).

We must never forget these soldiers nor their families. Now in my family it is my son who wears the uniform, and we are well aware of what his risks are and what he does. When we are told of a firefight he is in, we understand that our son, and others wearing the uniform do have to kill...that is grievous. This is and has always been the way it is in the world. How we treat those that stand and protect and defend us is then the issue. Are we thankful? Are we grateful?

I pray that other families do not ever have to go through to loss of a loved one. I pray that young mothers do not have to raise their children alone, and I pray that no child will grow up without a dad, but realize that my prayers most likely will not come true...so instead I stand and offer my thanks to those like my dad who did pay the ultimate price. I also will always be grateful to the men and women who have worn and wear the uniform as they are to me the true heroes of our nation.

Lee, dont you have a yoga c... (Below threshold)
914:

Lee, dont you have a yoga class to attend somewhere?

"There are a fair number of conservatives who put their religion above their country."

There are more than a fair number of leftists that put other country's above their own most notable recently, the bubble brain in chief.

914, Sky Captain, Hermann, ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

914, Sky Captain, Hermann, Jim, I'd like to ask you as well to focus on the topic. There's no shortage of talk about President Obama, but today is not his day, nor should we forget the men whose sacrifice we should remember today, of all days.

His one attempt having been thwarted, it may be that even Lee has come to realize this post is about the men who gave all for this nation, its people, and their buddies, and that everything else is for someplace else and some other time.

This country, and ... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


This country, and all that it embodies is worthy of dieing for.

Many years ago, I swore an oath to protect and defend it--one that cannot be unsworn. My father and his before him did the same. Unspoken was the realization that accepting the oath could result in the ultimate sacrifice.

Knowing this makes it simple to say to all of you who have served and are currently active-- You have my undying gratitude, and safe home, my brothers.

"What Would You Die For?'</... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"What Would You Die For?'

It sounds so simple a question. Until you sit back and let in rattle around the cortex for awhile. An idea? A person? A country?

There was a surge of enlistments in the military after 9/11. So our 'public education' system evidently hasn't brain-washed all our youth, yet.

We have a tendency to equate one thing with another a little too easily. The president represents the country. But some would say, 'he's the leader', therefore he IS the country'. Really? Doesn't LOOK 200+ years old.

Would I 'take a bullet' for Barry? No. Does that make me a 'monster'? Don't think so. I'd warn him, that's about it. But he's a human being! And your point is? I can rattle off the names of several from past history. On hearing the names, I think even you might flinch at 'saving' them - considering what they'd done. Is Barry in that league? Hmmm...
How much time ya got?

Then it comes to dying for an idea, which I'll also incorporate with country so as to shorten this prose. Yes. But..but..but all the faults! Yeah, so? We live in an imperfect world. You're not going to hit the sun if you only aim at your own feet. We can always do better the liberals scream - at the same time tearing down their own country. We espouse "The American Dream". We certainly don't hide our faults or our arguments amongst ourselves (as opposed to some countries our Dear Leader admires). Evidently there are a lot of people in the world who see that dream. They want to come here. They want to be PART of it.

Well...gotta stop...my head hurts.

DJ - you sadistic SOB, you hang out with Jesuits, don't you?

[ ANTI-MILITARY SMEAR - del... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

[ ANTI-MILITARY SMEAR - deleted ]

Anyone at the White House i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Anyone at the White House in charge of checking weather? After all, they can forecast global warming into the next 50-60 years. What's 2-3 days weather forecast in advance, compared to that?


http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/maybe-he-should-have-gone-to-arlington-storm-washes-out-obamas-memorial-day-speech-95265114.html

I'm with GarandFan. I woul... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm with GarandFan. I wouldn't take a bullet for Barry. But I would die for my family and I would give my life to keep them and this country free. God bless those who stand in defense of liberty and those who have given that last full measure of devotion to their country.

Our soldiers gave their liv... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Our soldiers gave their lives for this country yet Barry can't stand in the rain for 5 minutes to honor them. Sick.

[ It's not about Obama, Jim - DJ ]

And before the usual yahoo'... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

And before the usual yahoo's jump in with "Well look what ...... did!" Yeah, with few exceptions, they were a disappointment as well.

2. Posted by GarandFan | May 31, 2010 1:37 PM

I would die for My Family a... (Below threshold)
914:

I would die for My Family and Country... That said, it would probably be unwise to note that I do not suffer from hydrophobia.

DJ,Sigh. No it's ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

DJ,

Sigh. No it's not. But it's hard to get a way from. Even here in Boston, you cannot go to the grocery store without hearing loud and angry criticism of his decision. People are upset. They want their President to give honor to the military that they, their fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters have served and sacrificed in.

People want to be proud of their country and their President. They want their pride to be reflected in the actions of their President. They are disappointed that he doesn't do that for them. He is our nation's voice. He has the power to lift people up with his praise.

There are really few things as symbolic as honoring the sacrifice of the country's military. It's really tough to get wrong, but the administration has managed that here. Yes, I have been full of snark in some of my comments, but really I would rather have a President that I disagreed with on policy issues but who still treated our military with the respect they deserve.

"They are disappointed...."... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"They are disappointed...."

I would submit that their disappointment is directly proportional to the reverence that they hold for this day.

So you can see why some are 'upset' and others are 'oh well...ummmm...one cemetery is the same as any other'.

Guess it comes down to one's OWN priorities.

If we were to have a poll of responses to "When I say National Cemetery - you say?"
Want to wager what name will be FOREMOST with not even a close second?

Arlington? Or is that to n... (Below threshold)
914:

Arlington? Or is that to nuanced?

One engaged in hurling male... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

One engaged in hurling male bovine excrement can be counted on to demonstrate several qualities:

1) repetition
2) ignoring the refutation of a previously offered piece of excrement
3) claiming the receiver is 'ignorant'
4) claiming the receiver is 'biased'
5) claiming the receiver is 'obstinate'
6) claiming he is 'misunderstood', leading to
7) claiming victim-hood and persecution

Not what?, who? My family, ... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Not what?, who? My family, one or two of my friends. A country that electes this waste of skin, not a chance.

[ refers to HIJACK ATTEMPT ... (Below threshold)
MF:

[ refers to HIJACK ATTEMPT ]

Obama has a tin ear beca... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Obama has a tin ear because, culturally, he's not an American.

Bullseye. Sure, he's got a piece of paper that says he's an American, but culturally, viscerally, he's not.

No American would ever get the number of states wrong. Yeah, I know - Buraq was tired, he was distracted, etc. I agree. But I say again: no American would ever get that wrong. No matter how tired, how distracted, how drunk, how stunned, how anything he was - he'd never get that wrong. It wasn't a slip of the tongue, it was a brain cramp, and one no American would ever have. It'd be like an American singing "Four strikes and you're out at the old ballgame," or "America's first President was ...uh...Thomas Jefferson." Ain't gonna happen. Not possible.

Imagine being a sentry and asking a putative GI in the Battle of the Bulge how many states there are. The slightest hesitation, much less mistake, and you'd figure you'd got yourself a foreigner masquerading in American uniform.

And you'd be right.

You're confusing the man wi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

You're confusing the man with the country. One of the freedoms we 'cherish' is the vote. Having been given it freely, some do not value it highly, considering it 'burdensome' or a 'chore' instead of a duty.

The end results of voting are sometimes discomforting. But even those we vote for sometimes do things of which we disapprove.

Ain't a perfect world. But then, it was never intended to be.

Good post DJ. And thanks fo... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Good post DJ. And thanks for sweeping the aisles.

Happy Memorial Day! If you're looking for new reading material on those we honor today I suggest Hugh Ambrose's book "Pacific", which is the story behind the HBO series that recently concluded.

[ refers to HIJACK ATTEMPT ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

[ refers to HIJACK ATTEMPT ]

If you want to talk Obama, ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

If you want to talk Obama, there's now a thread for that. This thread is for respecting our veterans' sacrifice.

Fair enough, and a good dec... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Fair enough, and a good decision. I couldn't let that rubbish pass unchallenged.

"There are extremists who w... (Below threshold)
Don L:

"There are extremists who would choose to die for the religious beliefs "

They're called martyrs and the history books are full of their stories -from the Roman Coluseums to the Communist leftist nations today. Themilitant atheist left fears God, truth and goodness more than anything!

In a paraphrase of an old s... (Below threshold)
LAG:

In a paraphrase of an old soldier, I hoped not to die for my country in my 27 years of service; I would have been happy, however, to make the other poor dumb [email protected]$ta%o) die for his country.

[ wrong location ] ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

[ wrong location ]

In reflection, it's amazing... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

In reflection, it's amazing the reverence we hold for Arlington, as it started out as a punitive insult aimed directly at one Robert E. Lee. Commandeered at the beginning of the war, it was used as a hospital for Union forces and as a village for freed slaves. General Montgomery Meigs ordered that over 1000 recovered bodies from Bull Run be buried in the rose garden adjacent the house. It was his intent to make the place 'uninhabitable' for the Lee family. If a soldier died in hospital and his family could not afford to bring him home, he was buried nearby. Meigs, his wife and son are buried about 100 feet from the front door of Arlington House. It took a Supreme Court Decision to return the lands to the Lee family, and it was subsequently purchased by an Act of Congress.

In the late '70s I was stat... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

In the late '70s I was stationed at a missile base in Wyoming. I didn't figure we'd see the '80s come around, much less the '90s, much less the year 2010 without a nuclear war occurring sometime in that period. Of course, one of the nice things about living on a suspected Ground Zero for a nuclear war is that if it ever kicks off you'll likely never know about it.

When the '90s came around, with the fall of the USSR, I was kind of relieved... until the Gulf War broke out, and we realized that there would always be folks out there looking to take over their neighbor's territory - and the question then arises about our responsibility in stopping them. We've become the world's policeman, whether we want the job or not. Gulf War, Bosnia, and the like have all showed the UN wasn't up to the job... in fact, the UN 'military' force was never much more than a 'good intention'. When serious muscle was needed - they always called the US.

And we've responded, mostly, when it was in our best interests to do so. But there comes a point where there's no return for a lot of expense, and you've got to wonder why the neighbors don't mediate and get the warring parties to settle their problems instead of calling the cops.

Humanitarian aid? We've got the logistics to get darn near anything, anywhere, any time, in the quantities needed. But getting bitched at because we're not everywhere, immediately, with massive quantities of stuff that the people want starts to wear after a while. IF you're the world's 911 first responders, whether for police, fire or ambulance, a little gratitude is occasionally nice.

Would I die for this country? (Shrug.) At one time, that would have been the noblest death I could have imagined. But I've grown a bit since then - and I'm not sure I'd particularly want to die for the people like Lee, and Indiec, BryanD, and Steve Crickmore, who don't see the US (even as flawed as it is) as something wonderful and unprecedented in the world - but instead as something malign and horrible that should be, must be, altered and changed to become something THEY want to see, to THEIR vision of 'perfection'.

Visions that have, in the past, produced some rather hellish conditions. They see it necessary to keep every little grievance group going, every maligned minority angry, to balkanize us into groups that are always going to be pushing and shoving for their own piece of the pie instead of trying to join together and make a bigger, better pie for the whole country.

But I, oddly enough, was willing to serve an imperfect, flawed country for a large portion of my adult life... because I knew as flawed and troubled as we are - we're better than any other country and trying each day to remedy the mistakes made in the past and pave the way for a better country in the future. A country where, as Martin Luther King Jr. said - "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

That's the ideal I'm willing to die for.

JL - I salute your service ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

JL - I salute your service along with my fly-fly little brother. You guys were NUTS! Me, I was in the open. I could move. They KNEW where you were, and you couldn't move. Visited that missile silo outside Tucson. No thank you! A 7.62 bullet is really tiny compared to several MEGATONS landing on your roof! Same with squids in submarines. UNDER WATER. I take my hat off to them. Man doesn't sport gills. Scorpion. Thresher.

We weren't even down in the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

We weren't even down in the hole, in the LCCs, Garandfan. Minuteman LCCs are 2-man crews, and the sites themselves are unmanned. I was in missile maintenance, then got moved when they needed someone who knew the alphabet to an office job... But one way or another, I spent 10 years active duty time and 13 years Reserve time on ground zeros...

Thankfully, no leaders in the USSR decided to pull the trigger. It would have been very interesting if they had - I learned in the '80s that there was considerable (and justified) speculation that the targeting systems on Soviet ICBMs were so 'imprecise' that the 2-3 mile CEP radius on their targeting was more like 50-75. It likely would have been safer standing at Ground Zero for a Soviet shot than anywhere else in the vicinity.

But you know, I'm just as glad we never had the opportunity to find out!

This Memorial Day:... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

This Memorial Day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn_iz8z2AGw

Rouge Bouquet
by Joyce Kilmer (KIA July 30, 1918)

In a wood they call Rouge Bouquet
There is a new-made grave today,
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth 10 meters thick.
There lie many fighting men,
Dead in their youthful prime,
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the Summertime.
For Death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair,
Touched his prey and left them there,
Clay to clay.
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free
And fled away.
Now over the grave abrupt and clear
Three volleys ring;
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear
The bugles sing:
"Go to sleep!
Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell.
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor,
You will not need them any more.
Danger's past;
Now at last,
Go to sleep!"

Story behind this poem:
http://www.sixtyninth.net/Bouquet.html

The refrain beginning with "Go to sleep" is recited in the cadence of taps.

Damned pollen! Where's the Kleenex?

I once volunteered to serve... (Below threshold)
Mike Lorrey:

I once volunteered to serve my country in the air force, to die for it if need be. That was an earlier time, under more honorable leadership (Reagan and Bush I), when the turn toward fascism under the guise of antiterrorism wasn't yet apparent and we still had an enemy that only fools thought wasn't an evil empire that needed to be defeated.

Today, I would not die in service to this government. However I still hold closely the oath of enlistment I took, promising to protect and defend the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. I regard our current government as an enemy of the Constitution. The last president is on record having said of the Constitution "it's just a damn piece of paper". The current one, despite being a constitutional law professor, sees nothing wrong with blatantly getting rid of some inconvenient parts he disagrees with, or just ignoring them as convenience requires.

Thus both major parties are engaged in a conspiracy of treason against we the people and our Constitution.

I will close with a few quotations...

"Treason doth never prosper, what is the reason? For if it prosper, none DARE call it treason!"

All that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. And there is a lot of evil prospering these days.

ANTIMILITARY SMEAR?????? </... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

ANTIMILITARY SMEAR??????

WTF are you talking about.

It was SARCASM and a jab at John Kerry.....

I joined the Marines when i... (Below threshold)

I joined the Marines when i was 18. I turned down a partial scholarship that I did not think I could afford to pay the rest of from MIT. I always saw military duty as just that, something I owed this country because of the great opportunities I had because of the freedom. It was 1988, and I signed for 4 years. I expected at that time that I would serve 20 or more years. Then in 1989 I was deployed to Subic Bay, Philippines and contracted Malaria, the kind that attacks your brain, and since have had severe migraines, around 30 per year that cause over 100 days each year to be less than tolerable.

I served 7 months 12 days in the first gulf war and watched SCUD missiles blown to bits a mile or two away with patriot missiles a few dozen times. Since then I have had other significant health problems the government does not recognize or take any responsibility for.

Since then I have watched my country degenerate faster than my health. G.H.W Bush and his "Read My Lips" was the first assault on my love of country. Then the definition of 'is', followed by Bush, who for the most part was a very good president, but a worthless leader, who allowed the good accomplished under him to be smeared and distorted beyond belief. And now a country that thought Electing Obama president was going heal the country.

Maybe I am just a bitter unemployed disabled veteran, but I sure do not see the country I loved 23 years ago and was willing to die preserving into the future. Entirely too large a number of my countrymen have voted for the wrong leaders and demanded the wrong things from government over the last 20 years for me to feel that enough of them are worth my life in place of theirs that if I were in the same place as i was in 1988 that i would volunteer to put my life on the line to protect them.

Yet, astonerii, have you no... (Below threshold)
epador:

Yet, astonerii, have you no children nor hope that at least still in this country there is the chance that things could turn around and change (with great effort and sacrifice, but still possible?)?

I also am a disabled veteran and I work every day in pain. I have no respect for our current leaders, but the system still has the ability to respond to the will of the people, and the people still have some chance of changing course. So I am willing to still consider my life forfeit for our US system, if only for the chance my children might learn to harness this system for better days.

epador, You can give your l... (Below threshold)

epador, You can give your life, you see hope and change. Feel free to continue to support a group of people who will happily live off your suffering for the rest of the life they allow you to keep.

To the greatest generation ... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

To the greatest generation past; we boomers, who were given the highest gift: your life, have pissed it away, squandered it, we are not worthy of your sacrifice.

After everything you've done for us, we elect a seditious traitor who apologies for Americas greatness and spits on the Constitution.

We now deserve the hell that we have truly earned and we know is coming.

Perhaps it is a blessing you did not live to bear witness to our betrayal.




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