...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

November 11, 2004

Letter From A Commander

A few weeks ago, CBFTW of My War posted an email from his Battalion Commander in Iraq. You can read the whole thing here, but i wanted to excerpt the following passage because i think it's appropriate on this day, as we remember the sacrifice of our nation's veterans.

The will to be free comes at a heavy price. For some it is more than they can bear. Divorce, estrangement, financial burdens, health problems, depression, and even suicide are very real costs. Sacrifice is rarely recognized for what it truly is because the price of recognition is guilt. Parades, giving medals, issuing promotions,and rousing speeches are simply the thin veneer that masks the desperate need of those who are kept free by our endeavors for absolution from this guilt. Adam Duritz wrote in the song Mrs. Potter's Lullaby that 'the price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings.'

I submit that it is our love of freedom, the embrace of our wives or sweethearts, the love of our children or family, and the earned respect ofour brothers in arms that cast the walls that make the will to endure a fortress that can never be taken. I will be proud to stand the watch until my time is at an end, but soon you will mount the ramparts and stand the watch alone. In closing, I leave you with the words of Marcus Aurelius 'Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what's left and live it properly. What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness.'

Somber, but it does make you think.

Posted by annika, Nov. 11, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


Annika, thanks for posting the link to that letter again, and for excerpting it today.

I'm a Veteran, and today means a lot to me. My rememberances and observations on this day always lean towards the somber.

Posted by: Robbie on Nov. 11, 2004

It makes me think the Bn Cmdr is a fucking idiot. My first Bn Cmdr was a Cum Laude Princeton grad, and the son of an Admiral. He'd have never said anything so insipid.

Semper Fi,

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 11, 2004

For a group of Marines in Ramadi we have a different outlook 1st of all too many college words would just confuse most of the Marines to include the CO Commanders.

We said we came hear to win hearts and minds. Now it is more about 2 to the heart and 1 to the mind.

Semper Fi

Mike in Ramadi sends

Posted by: Mike on Nov. 13, 2004