In the twenty five years I wore the War Suit, the deal was you could do anything - murder and treason excepted - and they'd cover for you; you’d answer to the Old Man, sure, but the unit takes care of it’s own. But there was one task we were told that no matter what, come Hell or high water, we could never eff-up:
The dead have no voice, so we speak for them. Our war dead truly sacrifice themselves. They give their lives in far-off, miserable combat zones - often at young age - for causes that more often than not they barely understand, or if they did, could care less - especially considering the circumstances.
They give their lives for the most honorable of causes; in defense of the Nation, that we may enjoy the gifts of peace and freedom. This is the meaning of the phrases: “To have peace, arm yourself for war,” and “Freedom isn’t free.”
. . . so we honor them.
The Cenotaph, London
Honor to the crew of my uncle's Wellington bomber FU-D - Charleroi, Belgium.
The Irish Brigade Memorial, Gettysburg
This Memorial Day, we are treated to the spectacle of pot-fiend-doper-head-zombie-killer Harrelson impersonating a real man:
Not quite John Wayne.
In the film The Messenger Woody once more indulges his penchant for scandalizing America by throwing manure in our faces; this time sinking lower than his sicko Natural Born Killers piece of garbage.
Funeral duty - and every nuance and ancillary duty attached and associated to it - especially the family notification - is the most hallowed and sacred duty a soldier can be called upon to perform. This unenviable task must be performed with utter professionalism and the utmost respect; the family of the fallen interfaces with the face of the nation, at their weakest and most vulnerable point.
Now I'm not naïve, and I'm not fooling myself - the next time a member of the funeral party takes advantage of the widow in her moment of weakness will not be the first - every and any possible form of interaction between human beings has already taken place; there is nothing new under the sun - but to dedicate a movie to the conduct portrayed in the film; to explore this, to exploit this theme is not art, nor is it intended as entertainment.
It is propaganda: anti-military, anti-American propaganda - nothing less - and it is disgraceful.
Heroes . . .
. . . they dwell in Valhalla . . .
"Only the Dead have seen the End of War" - Plato