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[Update] Memorial Day 2008
Update: I wanted to add a few things to this post since it has to do with something LTG Caldwell wrote on his blog. Please check out his tribute to CPL Jeremy Allbaugh and also this video tribute to him.
I was going to write an awesome Memorial Day post when I received the following from LTG William B. Caldwell, Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center, Ft. Leavenworth. (of which, I’m not a member by the way):
Image courtesy of Theodores World.
On this Memorial Day let’s all remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and those who fight for our freedoms today around the world. Since antiquity, service to country has been recognized as one of mankind’s most noble pursuits.
Fallen warriors have been immortalized and remembered on Egyptian papyrus, in Greek classics, and in poetry and art throughout history. As Pericles so eloquently stated in his famous â€œFuneral Oration,â€ in 431 B.C., â€œBestowing thus their lives on the public, they have ever one received a praise that will never decay, a sepulcher that will always be most illustrious not that in which their bones lie moldering, but that in which their fame is preserved, to be on every occasion, when honor is the employ of either word or act, eternally remembered.â€
Our country is at war on two fronts. We face insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. This generation is giving so much â€“ over 4,000 American have given their lives to preserve our freedoms. Iâ€™ve visited the wounded in Army hospitals and seen their scars â€“ scare they will live with for the rest of their lives â€“ scars that will remind their children and grandchildren of the price of freedom.
It is our sacred obligation to our dead and woundedâ€¦it is a sacred obligation to their children and our children to never forget what they have given. I hope you and your families can take a moment today to remember a loved one or neighbor you know who proudly served, or a fallen comrade who has forever left our ranks.
FDR said at the onset of WWII, â€œWhen we resort to force, as now we must, we are determined that this force shall be directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. We Americans are not destroyers â€“ we are builders.â€
Today, we are again fighting a global ideology that seeks to destroy our way of life. We will win this conflict, and we will reassure the world that we will protect democracy regardless of whether Al Qaeda and other extremists attempt to destroy it. My sincere thanks go out to all the men and women in uniform who preserve our freedoms and to their Families who also serve. May God bless you, and may God bless America. Enjoy your Memorial Day and have a safe weekend.
WILLIAM B. CALDWELL, IV
Lieutenant General, USA