Target Centermass

5/30/2006

Not-Quite-Back-Yet Link Dump

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:51 pm

Okay, call it a Maui honeymoon hangover, but I’m not really back to the blogging yet. I’ll try to put up a few things, but I doubt I’ll get too serious until I’ve finished moving in with my new bride and setting up my new Fortress of Solitude in the upstairs office. Oh yeah, some time in the near future I hope to have some pictures for y’all of the joyous nuptials of Mr. and Mrs. Gunner.

Still, I don’t want to leave you empty-handed tonight, so heres a few links worth your time.

The Troops Have Moved On

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease.”

So said Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address, describing a war that put 11 percent of our citizens in uniform and had by that point killed nearly one of out every seven soldiers. That his words are relevant again now is a troubling indicator of our national endurance.

We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in Iraq is indicative not so much of our military conduct there, where real gains are coming slowly but steadily, but of chaotic leadership.

Somehow Operation Iraqi Freedom, not a large war by America’s historical standards, has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers. Instead of rallying we are squabbling, even as the slow fuse burns.

[…]

This confusion, in turn, affects our warriors, who are frustrated by the country’s lack of cohesion and the depiction of their war. Iraq hasn’t been easy on the military, either. But the strength of our warriors is their ability to adapt.

[…]

Soldiers are sick of apologizing for a sliver of malcontents who are not at all representative of the new breed. But they are also sick of being pitied. Our warriors are the hunters, not the hunted, and we should celebrate them as we did in the past, for while our tastes have changed, warfare — and the need to cultivate national guardians — has not. As Kipling wrote, “The strength of the pack is the wolf.”

Go read the whole thing. Hat tip to Blackfive.

Final Salute

A flag-draped casket.
Rifle volleys.
Taps.

These are the images of war that many have seen since the beginning of the war.

There are many more images that haven’t been seen before.

For Marines stationed at Buckley Air Force Base and the families they touch, the images are unforgettable. According to Maj. Steve Beck, they should be.

This is a stirring presentation that shows how the American military honors its fallen and helps their families take the beginning steps down the road to healing. The Rocky Mountain News put it together for last Veterans Day, and I’ll send a hat tip to Florida Cracker for linking it on Memorial Day. Today may seem a day late to bring it to your attention, but I don’t feel that it is — our military pays such tribute and shows such care any day of the year.

New-to-me Blog: History Post

Welcome to Anthony Tully’s Online Discussion log of various musings regarding history, political science, current events, and fields of expertise like Naval and Romano-Byzantine History. Be sure to visit our website for a look at some of my Pacific War articles and information on just published full study of the Battle of Midway.

If the name Anthony Tully doesn’t ring a bell, please review this post where I asked Santa for a copy of the new book Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Santa may not have come through for me in this case, but critics and historians have voiced much love for work of co-authors Jonathan Parshall and, yes, Anthony Tully. Hat tip to Frankenstein at General Quarters. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve e-known both Mr. Tully and Frank for several years on my favorite discussion forum and have long valued their thoughts on history, religion, military and political matters.

Carnival of Liberty XLVII

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:43 pm

This week’s installment of the Life, Liberty, Property community’s Carnival of Liberty is up over at New World Man. Go read another fine collection of posts from a libertarian slant.

5/29/2006

Memorial Day: USS Arizona

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:52 pm

Memorial Day 2006

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:59 pm

[The following is a modified posting of last year’s Memorial Day postings. New Memorial Day content wil follow]


“Here Rests
In Honored Glory
An American Soldier
Known But To God”

U.S. Memorial Day.org
The Day’s Background
Arlington National Cemetery
The Tomb of the Unknowns
Texas National Cemetery Foundation
Texas National Cemetery Memorial Plans and Fundraising

Tomb of the Unknowns: Changing of the Guard (embossed)
The Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns

If you have not seen the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, I’ve witnessed it more than once and highly recommend it.

The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 through September 30, there are more than double the opportunities to view the change because another change is added on the half hour and the cemetery closing time moves from 5 to 7 p.m.

An impeccably uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza to announce the Changing of the Guard. Soon the new sentinel leaves the Quarters and unlocks the bolt of his or her M-14 rifle to signal to the relief commander to start the ceremony. The relief commander walks out to the Tomb and salutes, then faces the spectators and asks them to stand and stay silent during the ceremony.

The relief commander conducts a detailed white-glove inspection of the weapon, checking each part of the rifle once. Then, the relief commander and the relieving sentinel meet the retiring sentinel at the center of the matted path in front of the Tomb. All three salute the Unknowns who have been symbolically given the Medal of Honor. Then the relief commander orders the relieved sentinel, “Pass on your orders.” The current sentinel commands, “Post and orders, remain as directed.” The newly posted sentinel replies, “Orders acknowledged,” and steps into position on the black mat. When the relief commander passes by, the new sentinel begins walking at a cadence of 90 steps per minute.

The ritual is slow. It is determined. It is meticulous. It is touching.

The majesty of the ceremony lies in its detailed, determined nature. It shows that our honored dead are not remembered only one day a year by our military — their memory is unfailingly revered . Their sacrifices receive tribute constantly from both comrades and strangers. Such is as it should be, both in the military and among all of the citizenry that value the freedoms and security that have been bought and paid for in blood and sacrifice. Our heroes deserve their special day, but their honor deserves our hearts throughout the year.

(On a side note, the above photos were taken by my then-girlfriend-now-new-bride. The photo of the ceremony was perfect in every way but one, a slight discoloration I was unable to overcome. In desperation, I tried the embossed effect and was quite happy with the outcome.)

5/6/2006

Going to the Chapel

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:40 am

Well, today’s the day. Wish us luck.

5/2/2006

Carnival of Liberty XLIII and a Personal Note

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:35 pm

This week’s installment of the Life, Liberty, Property community’s Carnival of Liberty is up over at Searchlight Crusade. Go read another fine collection of posts from a libertarian slant.

As an unrelated note, this is possibly my last post until after my wedding this weekend, and maybe even until after my honeymoon. I cannot recommend enough the fine members of my blogroll — they do a wonderful job of keeping me informed and entertained.

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