Ft Hood Memorial – UPDATED


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.

UPDATE I
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.

UPDATE II:
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.

Challenge Coins
Significance of the Military Memorial stand

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Jonah Goldberg
Geraghty

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dry valleys

    Yes, let’s bear in mind that it is Armistice Day tomorrow as well.

    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, etc.

    That would explain a bit of awkwardness, it would explain it adequately to me. But he is paying his respects to them as he knows best. I consider him able to make these strategic decisions- I will accept what is decided over the sending of these troops to Afghanistan.

    In future it must be made sure that the likes of this Hasan are rooted out of the military. Everything I have read suggested that he should not have been allowed to last so long. To put proper measures of this sort in place is the only fit way to pay tribute to victims of such a senseless killing.

    [I think there comes a moment during every president's tenure when he realizes with centering certainty that he is commanding men who are better than he. If they 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. -admin]

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  • dry valleys

    I’m famous, Mrs!

    I actually was fairly cool to Obama during the early campaign, but started warming around October 2008. It struck me that he was receptive to experience & learning & willing to take in the advice of those who know more than himself, such as civil servants. So I hope you’re right.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I am praying that this will be his wakeup call and that he will then start to put country first ahead of his own narcissistic needs (we all have them – just in varying quantities) aside and start putting duty ahead of self-indulgence. In other words, grow up.

    We never really know our level of courage until we are forced to confront ourselves. On a lesser scale, I had to do that a few years ago and it made me think myself a better human being when I stood tall and didn’t cringe outwardly (we’ll not discuss the inward quivers).

    I want and need this president to succeed – for his own sake and for the sake of the rest of us.

  • dry valleys

    Well, we’ll soon see what he thinks about military matters because there are various reports of him sending or not sending troops to Afghanistan, a story which will presumably be ironed out soon.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Leela

    I do not know how you remember the fallen by name, and dream, and not be changed.

    I did not see the memorial. However, if I may be admittedly unfair and nevertheless comment on Obama — Perhaps he will change, and perhaps we should not assume the worst of people, but from what we already know of Obama, I’ll need to see substantial proof before I believe it.

    After all, what has he already shown his attitude to be toward the military, and the attitude of many on the left? He already sees them as victims, hence, his repeated emphasis on not sending them into harm’s way (even when those already in harm’s way need reinforcement). And, as we see from the media template on Hasan and countless movies since Vietnam, the left sees many soldiers and veterans as ticking timebombs, psychotics in the making.

    Whatever he and Casey said here, they have been also been quite insistent in ignoring and downplaying the truth that has smacked them right between the eyes — that this was an attack, an act of war and terrorism carried out in the name of radical Islam.

    “It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy,” said Obama. No, it is not hard to comprehend. Not at all. Not in the slightest bit. Most of America and most of the military knew immediately why this “tragedy” occurred — we are at war with radical Islamists, some of whom are apparently within our own ranks, and because of political correctness, our government “leaders” have blood on their hands as well.

    “We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.” Obama doesn’t get it, does he? Still insisting on viewing Islamic terrorism as a law enforcement problem. Still living in September 10, where intelligence agencies know that there is a terrorist in the making, but do nothing about it.

    Nowhere is there an indication that he understands — really understands and appreciates — that we are at war. Oh, he speaks of the “horror of war” (more victim-speak), but nowhere is there an indication that he intends to take the fight to the enemy, that he intends to destroy that enemy.

    The best way to honor our military is to let them loose to do their job — to kill the enemy and destroy his ability to attack us again.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    oops, forgot to change my name back

  • Jack

    I am no fan of Obama, and would love to see all Muslim fanatics rooted out of the military right away, but I would caution against glorifying all men and women in the military as being superior to or “better” than civilians. We have civilian control of the military for a reason. Was Curtis LeMay superior to President Kennedy when he urged that we bomb Cuba back to the stone age? Should Kennedy have blindly obeyed because LeMay was in the military and he no longer was?

    [That is taking what we're saying to an extreme. And I think you know that. -admin]

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Fry

    …but from what we already know of Obama, I’ll need to see substantial proof before I believe it.

    Amen.

    (I hope the italics work this time)

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Hey, if you can be Leela, I can be Fry! :-)

  • Jack

    Are you single Anchoress, I’d like to date you.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    oops. name change puts you out of order, doesn’t it…

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  • http://proteinwisdom.com/pub dicentra

    “That would explain a bit of awkwardness, it would explain it adequately to me.”

    It would explain it if Obama were psychologically normal. He is not. He is a clinical narcissist. His narcissism is hardened and unyielding. All the signs are there. Having been raised by a hardened narcissist, I know whereof I speak.

    He may have been aware that he was around men better than he, but that awareness will not produce humility in him; it will only deepen his existing resentment of the armed forces (which he cultivated in the anti-military halls of academe).

    I am glad that he gave an appropriate speech. I am not encouraged that he will “awaken” to anything except his own envy.

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  • http://www.sufficientscruples.com Kevin T. Keith

    How is it that you listen to his speech, and hope that he learns from it?

    Try it the other way around.

  • Jack

    Maybe we are turning a corner today. Obama and even some on the far left seem to be seeing the enemy right under our collective nose, violent Islam, and John
    Allen Muhammad was executed at 9:11 p.m. tonight. Hard not to see that as very poetic justice at least.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    This will be a defining, crossroads moment for the Obama presidency.

    Make no mistake — the enemy is watching his reaction, just has they have been watching his (non)decision-making on Afghanistan and his appeasement of Iran. And what do they see? Wishy-washy indecisiveness. Weakness.

    Do not be surprised if, in the months to come, it is “all systems go.” This enemy has been very clear — they will push and push and attack and attack until they meet someone with the will to stop them. Obama lacks that will.

    The light has turned green. Expect more attacks, both the organized and the do-it-yourself kind.

  • Gail F

    I was not particularly impressed by the speech. It had some very nice parts, but IMHO there was too much about how multicultural and diverse we are. Not that we AREN’T those things, but in this context it seemed to me to conciliatory and apologetic about the man being a Muslim.

    As far as the president believing this was related to radical Islam… he’d be an idiot if he didn’t. What I have not heard mentioned for a few days — Hasan had access to the president! He was some sort of an advisor during the “transition.” After all this bizarre stuff he did, he was not only allowed to stay in the Army and counsel soldiers, he was allowed near the president! Whatever his public stance, Obama has to be insisting that heads roll. That is simply outrageous.

  • http://cobb.typepad.com Cobb

    Call me cynical, but I think that Obama feels an obligation to reach out to victims. And the more he senses that people are in pain, the more he stiffens his back, mellows out his voice, and tries to parcel out eloquent, verbal strokes.

    He went to Texas to give hope to victims. Period.

    [Like Fox Muldar, I want to believe! -admin :-) ]

  • Gail F

    Oops, I take that back. APparently he was not an advisor, as a report I heard said he was. Instead, he was present at a “think tank” that presented a report to the president. So he was not near the president at all.

  • Greta

    Obama needs to understand one thing that “W” learned in NYC in the ashes after 9/11. We are at war and the radicals in the Islamic faith are going to do everything they can to kill us as often as possible and as many as possible. From that he tried to do everything possible to make America safe with the democatas and MSM clawing away at every move he made. Obama was one of those bashing W at every turn for his own advancement. The problem is that now those battles are his in total. He owns them all. Maybe seeing the coffins will make an impact, but I doubt it. He has not visited Afghanistan in 15 months or more with his last visit being forced on him during the election process. FDR was severly handicapped and did not have anything like air force one, but he visited the battle ground many more times because he was determined not to fight the war, but to win it. Every CIC during war has made it a point to get to the battlefield except Obama. Yes, he made a pit stop in Iraq to try and take some of the firestorm off his failed fly over for the olympics to Chicago fiasco. Obama said the real war he supported and that we had to win was Afghanistan over and over and he has not been there. That says more than anything else he has done.

  • Myssi

    God bless them, every one, and every member of their families. The Tree of Liberty has been watered yet again.

    I have waited for my daddy to come home from war and I have waited for my brothers to come home from war. I was never afraid waiting for them to come home from work, but military families the world over will wonder every day now. And God bless them for their service along with the ones who serve.

  • CV

    I’ve heard the expression that sometimes “the job makes the man.” I keep waiting, and hoping, that we see a glimmer of that in Obama. Maybe this was one of those occasions.

    He gave an appropriately serious and solemn speech today. Did he truly believe the words he was saying? I have serious doubts about that (he seems to use every such occasion to suit his own purposes), but I hope so.

  • LMS

    “One mourner is having real difficulty, touching the picture of Pvt. Frederica Perez, who was looking forward to being a mother.”

    A respectful correction…Pvt. Velez was already a mother…14 died in this horrific event.

    Thank you for the excellent post.

  • J

    The speech was not about him….that is all the credit I will give him. There was no emotion from him in this speech. It was a duty, carried out, then left behind. Completely unmoved and his not knowing why the enemy attacked my country in Ft. Hood…..unbelievable.

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  • http://www.reflectionsbykris.squarespace.com Kris, in New England

    He went to Texas to give hope to victims. Period.

    The 13 soldiers who died at Fort Hood were not victims – they are casualties of a war that has, once again, been brought to our own soil.

    Obama went to TX to act like the Commander-in-Chief he is supposed to be and has, as yet, not shown he has any capability for.

    [See this surprising post by Hillbuzz -admin]

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Oh!

    EXCELLENT find there, Anchoress!!

  • joseph

    There is a significant point that everyone particularly the politically correct bumbling incompetents in the main stream media appear to want to sweep under the rug.

    We all seem to forget that during the run up to the 2008 Elections it became politically incorrect to mention Barrack Obama’s middle name – Husain because of its connotations related to the Muslim faith.

    It was politically incorrect to mention Obama’s linkages to the Muslim faith if in any way it seemed to indicate that he had a preference to that faith over Christianity. If any political opponent even mentioned Muslim in the same breath as Obama they were considered racist or “intolerant”.

    In his apology tours throughout his Presidency Mr. Obama constantly in fine sounding Muslim terminology was intent on castigating America while portraying anything Islam or Muslim as the truth as opposed to Old Glory and apple pie.

    During Mr. Obama’s Administration the security forces with the duty to protect Americans have been under siege by the Democrats (see what has happened to the CIA) while every attempt is being made to make life easy for the very terrorists in Guantanamo Bay who sole aim on earth is to maim and kill Americans.

    The Americans in the Bush Administration who put their best foot forward to protect America now have the sword over their heads of possible prosecution for their service to their country protecting Americans from Islamic extremists yet an Islamic extremist who killed 13 American patriots was promoted to Major even while everyone seemed to have known of his issues.

    In other words the first attack by a Muslim fanatic on American soil culminating in the death of 13 wonderful and patriotic Americans since Sept 11th, 2001 occurred under President Obama’s watch under an atmosphere of politically correct fear created by the Obama Administration.

    Liberal political correctness supported and confirmed by the liberal media and the Obama Administration, killed the 13 at Fort Hood as much as the bullets from the “cop killer” gun of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

    The worst of it is that given the attempt to hide the truth and blame everything but Islamic extremism and terrorism we can only assume that some other madman has been given the go ahead to killing again in the future in the name of a religion.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Perhaps he has not yet reached the point where he can do nothing right and is always wrong, but Obama has reached the point where I more often than not presume that he is wrong, unless proved right. In other words, he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt. To wit, “Our servicemen and women have been doing right by America for generations, and as long as I am commander in chief, America is going to do right by them. And that is my message to all veterans today. . . . When your tour ends, when you see our flag, when you touch our soil, you will be home in an America that is forever here for you, just as you’ve been there for us. That is my promise — our nation’s promise — to you.”

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like the self-centered TOTUS is back.


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