While visiting a friend, we ended up at the Guttenberg, NJ Memorial Day Parade. A (left) a Major in the NJ National Guard 50th Combat Infantry Team which will be leaving for Iraq before the end of summer, stands before the town’s Veteran’s Memorial next to the town’s oldest living World War Two veteran.
There was singing, and twirlers; boy scouts, fire engines, the sheriff, and the police; plus soldiers and Marines from the town. And the speech that brought it home:
The sister of a young man who died in Iraq told us about her brother. He had given up his leave to take over for another soldier who had a death in the family. “Because,” she said, “soldiers take care of each other.”
Her brother was one of five soldiers killed that day by roadside bombs. She said that when she heard the knock, and saw the soldiers in dress greens, she was doubled over screaming before they even said “We regret to inform you….”
Then the Major, who looked about 25, with his young son beside him at the podium, told the assembled crowd that half of the NJ National Guard – 4,000 men and women – will be deployed to Iraq before the end of summer.
I know that each of them believes he or she is doing to right thing for our country, and I support them with all my heart. But that doesn’t stop me from hating the war or the politicians who wage it.
All I could think about when the young Major spoke was the announcer on NPR this morning who mentioned that President Bush recently said that he wanted to feel that he had sacrificed something for the war, so he gave up golf for the duration. “The president said he didn’t want families of dead soldiers to see him enjoying himself on the links.” You can’t make this stuff up. The president, that moron really said that.
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