Monday, October 15, 2007

Group Burial at Arlington Cemetery Emphasizes Need to Support Our Troops

On October 12, 2007, nine months after Iraqi enemy forces decimated their Black Hawk helicopter, the unidentifiable remains of twelve National Guard and Army troops received a group burial with military honors at Arlington Cemetery. It was the largest number of National Guard soldiers killed together since the start of the Iraqi War.

Hundreds of family members attended the ceremony. Couldn’t help but notice the remarkable similarities between one national tragedy defining a generation and another. Note the stoic faces of military, family members, and a young boy. A grieving widow positioned to the right of grieving parents. Even the two men in the back right corner bear an uncanny resemblance. Just substitute the skinny tie for sunglasses and vice versa.

Does the fame of one American family make the tragedy of ordinary people any less palpable or noteworthy? I think not. Like Kennedy, the brave men and women buried at Arlington took an oath to serve. They died in the line of duty for the greater good. The photograph of their families is just as iconic because it too captures a moment in United States history.

We Americans should be mindful of the difficulties suffered by our heroic troops and their families. We can show our appreciation for their sacrifices by penning letters, sending e-mails, or sponsoring a gift. Let’s put aside our political differences long enough to show our military we’re proud and we care.

I’m thinking macadamia nut double chocolate chip cookie care packages for Thanksgiving ought to do the trick.