Stars Left At The Wall
I was tipped to the subject of this post by Blackfive and RedState. I was hesitant at first to comment on it, but then I figured so much of what doesn’t really matter is trumpeted from the rooftops that a simple act of remembrance should not go unnoticed.
If you have never been to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC you have truly missed one of the best tributes to fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines ever to have been conceived and built. It is a hauntingly stark reminder of the high price paid by those who wear the uniform of this nation’s Armed Forces.
For some, it is the only place where they can come to remember their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, and children who went to fight their nation’s battles and never came home. For others, it is a place to remember those people with whom they forged a bond in the fire combat of south-east Asia.
Every day, people leave things at the Wall. I’ve seen letters, flowers, flags, pictures, and other memorabilia left beside the inscribed names. Each one is touching – a memory etched in the soul of the country.
There is a burden borne by those who lost men and women under their command – whether it was in Vietnam or any other conflict. Commanders live with the fact someone’s son or daughter died fulfilling orders given them. It’s easy to forget the weight of that responsibility.
On October 1, 2007, this makeshift memorial was left at the Vietnam Memorial.
These are Yours - not mine!
With Love and Respect,
Your Platoon Leader,
October 1 was the last day that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, USMC wore the uniform of his nation. After nearly 40 years of service – which began with him serving as a platoon leader in Vietnam where he wore the butter bars of a Second Lieutenant, one of his last acts was to remember those men who died following him into battle so many years ago.
As you can see by the sheer volume of General Pace’s medals, he rose to the very pinnacle of the United States Military. Even at that level, he never forgot the men he first went to war with – and the price they paid for doing so.
When you look up “Squared Away Marine” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of General Pace. Thank you for your service, sir. America is in your debt.
Here endeth the lesson.