Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Snark Today; Just Heartfelt Gratitude

This post concludes our Veterans Day Trilogy: Max Cleland, Johnny Cash, and the POTUS (44). The temptation is soooooo great to contrast the graceful and classy rhetoric of the POTUS (44) with the idiot Dumbos and Tea Party lunatics, but those fools have no place in a memorial ceremony at Fort Hood. May the God of your choice bless us all in a (fair & balanced) way. So be it.

[x Open Salon]
Dave Cullen's Blog — Obama's Moving Memorial Speech At Fort Hood
By Dave Cullen
Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times

Tag Cloud of the following article

created at

I got really choked up watching that speech. Obama hit just the right notes, and carried himself just right: serious and a little subdued, yet resilient and strong.

I broke my rule against watching profiles of the victims, because that can send me spiraling down to the dark place, because I just wanted to hear what he had to say. How striking that so many were immigrants and minorities. It made me gasp, again, at the blissfully few voices calling for retribution or cleansing of various sorts against Muslims.

We are a strong country and we have a strong military because it includes Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, atheists, blacks, whites, Koreans, Pakistanis, gays (in hiding), straights, men, women . . .

I was so happy to see Army Chief of Staff General George Casey speak so strongly on all the Sunday news shows about the danger of backlashes and persecution of Muslims.

“It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well,”he said.

That was a gutsy statement. I'm proud he's running our army.

And I'm proud of our commander in chief, who did a great job today. Just by giving us a snapshot of each victim, he made the same point--as well as honoring them, and bringing some small relief or perhaps moment of pride to their families.

It's so hard on the families. Ten years later, the kids at Columbine are generally doing really well, but it's a different story for the families of the ones killed. Many are still struggling badly.

The tone, for them, was set Day 1, and for these victims at Ft. Hood, hopefully their president made that terrible load just a little bit lighter. I hope.

You can read the full speech here. Here's how he closed:

We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes....

Here, at Fort Hood, we pay tribute to thirteen men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home. Later today, at Fort Lewis, one community will gather to remember so many in one Stryker Brigade who have fallen in Afghanistan.

Long after they are laid to rest — when the fighting has finished, and our nation has endured; when today's servicemen and women are veterans, and their children have grown — it will be said of this generation that they believed under the most trying of tests; that they persevered not just when it was easy, but when it was hard; and that they paid the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples.

So we say goodbye to those who now belong to eternity. We press ahead in pursuit of the peace that guided their service. May God bless the memory of those we lost. And may God bless the United States of America. Ω

[Dave Cullen has written for Salon and The New York Times and maintains The Columbine Almanac online. Cullen is graduate of the MA program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of Columbine (2009).]

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Copyright © 2009 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves

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