Ten members of Regimental Combat Team 8 of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. were killed and 11 wounded in a bomb attack near Fallujah yesterday.
If you are moved by their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their fellow warriors in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, please visit SolidersAngels.com and sign up to become the home front partner of a member of the military deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or some other front line post in the GWOT. You can send the mail ,ecouragement and care packages, and it is a tangible way for civilians to thank you for the courage and sacrifice of those in uniform.
Back in 1984 just before Christmas we had a mine fire in a coal mine near where I live. 24 men and women were killed, including one of my neighbors. It was a horrific shock and our entire communities grieved. Brave mine rescue teams went back in to retrieve their bodies.
Many times, like this one, remind how senseless those deaths were. But the deaths of our Marines and other troops is not senseless in the same sense, because they were engaged an effort to return good to the people of Iraq in return for the evil done to us by Al Qaeda on 9/11.
These are bitter losses, even though they are so few by historic standards, but there is a balm in Gliead, and God will heal and whisper peace to the sore hearts of those left behind.
All we can do to honor these brave Marines is to support those who remain and NOT give in to the urge to pull out of Iraq and leave those people for whome they died to the tender mercies of the terrorists. At some point, the Iraqi defense forces must take this job over, but that time is not yet.
Yesterday, I rewatched parts of The Return of the King and was stirred again by Aragorn’s speech outside the gates of Mordor:
Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers.
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!
This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
This is what warriors do. They don’t cut and they don’t run or take flight when they have been bloodied.
Without men and women like this, I would not be free.
My uncle was in charge of a Battery on Corregidor, captured when it surrendered and lived through years of hell as a prisoner of the Japanese. These terrorists have nothing on the Japanese for cruelty. I’m reading his account of that experience. His younger brother died when his transport plane crashed in New Guinea.
I’m sure there is a place to welcome men who die with their honor clean. I pray that these 10 will qualify and that those scum who think they’re brave for setting an ambush will meet their maker and pass through hell for what they have done. Nobody in Iraq is threatened by our troops unless he is trying to harm his fellow Muslims or our troops.