'Proof through the night'

“ … gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."

The bodies of 18 Americans arrived at Dover Air Force Base during the night, the first to be honored by their commander-in-chief since the inception of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama left the White House at midnight on Marine One for Dover, where he met with the families of the fallen and participated in the transport ceremony from plane to mortuary.

Fifteen soldiers and three Drug Enforcement Agency agents were killed Monday in Afghanistan in separate helicopter crashes and in a roadside bombing. The Associated Press reports this has been the deadliest month of the war with 55 American deaths.

The president who took this country into two wars explained his refusal to attend a Dover ceremony by saying he believed the best way to honor the dead was to meet with victims’ families.

President Obama was expected to be back at the White House by dawn. I woke at 3 a.m. to find this breaking news and have had my own private thoughts about it all. Certainly, this is a reminder that we are still engaged in two deadly wars.

Finally, after thousands of American war dead have returned to our shores, an American president has given proof through the night that our flag is still there for them.



Sue said...

I want these wars to end. They aren't conventional wars, there can be no victory, EVER. I think Obama is smart enough to see that.

Frodo, Keeper of the Ring, said...

As Frodo begins his 64th year, his first act is to admit his error. For 38 years he argued that it was wrong to draft young people into the military. Frodo lived through his own avoidance of military obligation, and is consumed by his stupidity. What right does Frodo have to remove himself from the high costs of freedom? Isn't it unbelievably hypocritical of the Hobbit to urge victory over nihilists, and not march up Mount Doom, sword in-hand? Wouldn't these wars have ended by now if every Mother, including Frodo's, marched into the Oval Office and threatened to drag that sanctimonious Texan out on his ass?
Yes, true it is. Frodo was wrong when he argued to end the draft. Today he reverses course.
Read Frodo's torment posted yesterday, then join him as he marches, as if to War.

Falzone for America said...

On the one hand the outrage would be greater with a draft as you have said. On the other why should Frodo or Falzone have died in Vietnam for a mistake? Why should these young men be dead for old men’s greed? If we were drafted we would be more cannon fodder. Vietnam took 10 years to end with millions marching on Washington for 8 of those years.

Sue said...

we need to march again, I feel this new and more humane president might hear us this time..

Where are the protestors? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

B.J. said...

The final paragraph of my post is left open to interpretation. Is our flag still there only to wrap coffins? Or, is it waving over our nation to say to these fallen that despite the policies which took your lives, we are indebted to you for your sacrifice?

Vietnam apparently was not enough. I do think we had a clearer mission in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Isn’t the best policy about such quagmires not to enter them in the first place?

I am not anti-war, but I did everything in my power to protest the Iraq War before it began. One family member told me my objectivity had flown out the window. His exact words. A real insult to a journalist. I would tell him “I told you so,” but he died before it became clear what a serious mistake the neocons made.

One thing more: why should Frodo and Falzone have marched off to Vietnam when I, by the luck of the draw, am female and was excluded?

Can we take a moment from anti-war fervor to honor this homecoming? Frodo has. By all means, read his current post by clicking on the link at the top of DemWit’s sidebar.

(BTW, “Sam” is Frodo’s wife. I am “Merry of the Fellowship.”)

Tiny said...

Excellent post, BJ. God bless our president for showing respect and concern for our young people and their families.

Tiny understands what Frodo is saying as she would have taken her four children and moved to Canada had her two sons been of the Viet Nam draft age. When her elder brother was in Korea, his letters home stated, "If this is just 'Police Action," I would like to turn in my gun and come home'." He repeated the Army slogan, "Join the Army and see the world." His response from Korea, "I didn't know they were going to show me all of it in a mere four years!" Then he enlisted in the Navy.

Old men send young men and women into war to protect the old men's property. War makes toys of God's children. Some will remember the old-time children's toys of little tin-soldiers. Politicians seem to have the same concept of our young men and women in uniform. Play with them until they get lost (dead or wounded)or you get bored with them, then throw them in a box in the corner and forget them.

Every time Tiny sees those flag draped coffins, a big hole reopens in her heart and all the grief and tears come flooding back. Not for herself, as she has learned to cope with her losses. It's for the friends and loved ones of the son, daughter, husband, wife or other close relatives and friends who will stoically follow that coffin to a gaping hole in the earth that will swallow their loved one. Then they will go home and crumple into a million tiny pieces at their own feet.

The tear-soaked triangle-folded flag is the last physical-proof through the night that a loved one was once there. May the families find comfort for their journey through grief. May the souls of our fallen heroes rest in peace. For them, the last trumpet (taps) sounded.

Falzone for America said...

Falzone agrees with Tiny. I could never have said it so well myself.

I am only in favor of war if there is a direct attack on the continental United States. The enemy would have absolutely no chance of wining that outcome.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, Columbia, Bosnia, etc. the soulless vampire of power mad dogs had personal gain in mind.

WWI was stoked up and WWII was a result of WWI. WWII was necessary. There was no attack on the US but the threat was so devastating as to change the landscape of the planet.

We had to intervene. I am opposed to war 99.9 percent of the time. I do recognize the need to defend our freedom when and if there is ever a real threat to our way of life and the Constitution.

"If God was on our side he/she would stop the next war."
- Bob Dylan -

Frodo, not forgetting Fort Sumter, said said...

My good friend Falzone for America, Frodo has looked deep into the waters of the Harbor at Pearl, and met some of those who survived the day known as December the 7th. A Japanese man walked up to Frodo and asked if he would take his picture there. We shook hands afterwards. Frodo wonders if he ever thinks about Frodo like Frodo wonders about him.

B.J. said...

Two who knew:

“No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.”
- General George S. Patton

“War is hell.”
- General William Tecumseh Sherman