Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Memorial Post - Bridging History Redux
As of yesterday morning, I hadn't been in front of a computer in nearly a week. With no plans to end that streak, I grabbed my Chicago Tribune and decided that sitting in our freshly planted garden on a beautiful Memorial Day morning sounded about right. As I opened the paper, I recalled these sentiments from Wretchard, written last year:
One of the hardest things to read over the past few days have been the Memorial Day blog posts. Some quoted the last letters of soldiers and marines recently dead in Iraq; others cast memory back further. But the events recalled in each case stood the same distance away from everyday life. It's a gulf which no words can bridge. They'v left us behind; and we are irremediably alone with a tale begun long ago and whose ending is now in our care. Memory is a burden; and the memory of love the heaviest of all.
And don't these guys know it.....
After racing 170 miles across France as bitter cold sent tears down his cheeks, Sgt. Johnny Holmes reached Reims and the sound of German guns. For the next 183 days, the fighting continued nonstop as his Army tank unit, made up of black soldiers, hastened the end of a war they were barely invited to join.
By the time it was over, Holmes had battled all the way across Germany in one of two units whose determination in World War II put to rest the myth that black troops wouldn't fight as well as their white counterparts. Thirty-four of his fellow soldiers had lost their lives.
Today, the men still standing from those units--the first and last all-black armor battalions in the U.S. Army--are close to the end, proud but fading. When they are gone, time will have done what the Nazis couldn't, and it might take something more: memories of honor earned despite the racial prejudice of their generation.
Read the rest of these heroes story.
Then there is this story of love between polar opposite brothers:
The tree is a memorial to his younger brother, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Tessar, killed last fall in a roadside bombing while leading a convoy on patrol in Iraq.
The tree also is a reminder of his brother's devotion to a cause that was beyond Bill Tessar's ken. Until now.
"I'm embarrassed to say it, but honestly I didn't pay a lot of attention to the people out there serving our country," he said. "I never really looked at it as an act of patriotism or bravery, until my brother lost his life."
...Bill always struggled to understand his brother's choice. "I would never, never have signed up" for the military, he said.
"My brother had a passion for it. And I never really understood what that meant until now. ...
"He really believed he was doing something to make the world a better place. Now, I look at his sacrifice and ask myself, 'Would I die for my job? Would you die for this story, for your job?' My brother was willing to die. And he did."
Again, read the whole thing.
Not bad for an MSM paper, I certainly was pleasantly surprised.
And finally, as usual, Victor Davis Hanson provides another must read column for the occasion.