Photo Cribbed from Ace
Military people, cops and firefighters know how to honor their dead, and the Ft. Hood memorial service was excellently done, from start to finish. Gen. Casey’s speech, stirring. President Obama was, if typically remote, eloquent, and today eloquence mattered. As I twittered, the CIC, payed very proper, appropriate and overdue tribute to his troops. And maybe to his country.
I wonder if all of this will mature and deepen the president’s appreciation for his troops. I don’t see how not. I don’t know how you stand amid the fallen and their comrades, and their body-and-soul commitment to honor, and not be touched and changed.
I do not know how you remember the fallen by name and dream, and not be changed. Or how you listen to the empty, terrible silence that follows, as they are called-out for the roll, but do not respond, and remain unchanged.
Horrible events sometimes bear very fine fruit. It is my earnest prayer that this horrific massacre, and this necessary, heart-wrenching memorial, bears the fruit we need.
Right now, I’m watching the Ft. Hood soldiers walk past each empty-booted memorial stand, stand before the picture of each of the slain, and make their salutes, over and over again. One mourner is having real difficulty, touching the picture of Pvt. Frederica Perez, who was looking forward to being a mother.
Very moving. It all helpfully brings home to the nation that we have lost exceptional people, that we are defended, daily, by exceptional people. What makes them exceptional is not their education, their background, their ethnicity; it’s their willingness to stand a watch, and if need be, to die for the exceptional nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Allahpundit: Calls it a strong speech with a great ending, and rounds up some media reactions. Thought this was interesting:
Stephanopoulos thinks The One signaled here that he too now subscribes to the terrorism theory of Hasan’s attack. I think that’s already fairly clear from the fact that the president and Gen. Casey attended today; a simple lone nut scenario involving a guy who, say, just got laid off and opened fire in frustration wouldn’t have drawn the same response.
In the comments, dry valleys remarks from over in England,
I think Obama is a bit like me, he feels uncomfortable around the sort of hard, assertive, no-nonsense types you find in the military. We are neither of us very “manly” in that regard, so he might feel a bit uneasy, suspect that they are better men than him, he couldn’t do that…
Well, as to thinking of what one could or couldn’t do, I think humans are always surprised at what they can handle when they have to, but as I responded to dv, I think there comes a moment during every president’s tenure when he realizes with a centering certainty that he is commanding men and women who are “better than he.” For those presidents who can manage to then rise to the challenge of being worthy of their command, that is a positive thing, all-around. I pray this is true for Obama. I want him to be a great CIC, for the sake of our troops, and our nation.