Memorial Day – All Who Serve Are In My Heart

Those who serve are always at the mercy of the leaders who send them into battle.

From the New York Times:

The Department of Defense has identified 4,074 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the death of the following American on Friday:

JONES, Howard A. Jr., 35, Pfc., Army; Chicago; First Infantry Division.

Tip of the hat to @zeldman (Twitter) for mentioning Frank Rich’s NYT OP ED Memorial Day at South Pacific and reminding me of those in spirit, and those far from home and family, on this Memorial Day.

Watching “South Pacific” now, we’re forced to contemplate Iraq, which we’re otherwise pretty skilled at avoiding. Most of us don’t have family over there. Most of us long ago decided the war was a mistake and tuned out. Most of us have stopped listening to the president who ginned it up. This month, in case you missed it, he told an interviewer that he had made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up golf for the war’s duration because “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf.”

“South Pacific” reminds us that those whose memory we honor tomorrow — including those who served in Vietnam — are always at the mercy of the leaders who send them into battle. It increases our admiration for the selflessness of Americans fighting in Iraq. They, unlike their counterparts in World War II, do their duty despite answering to a commander in chief who has been both reckless and narcissistic. You can’t watch “South Pacific” without meditating on their sacrifices for this blunderer, whose wife last year claimed that “no one suffers more” over Iraq than she and her husband do.

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