The veterans remember the war, in the Washington Post. On the three-year anniversary.
Arriving in Baghdad, “I had an Iraqi citizen come up to me,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Finn, a Marine infantryman. “She was a female. She opened her mouth and she had no tongue. She was pointing at the statue” of Saddam Hussein. “There were people with no fingers, waving at the statue of Saddam, telling us he tortured them. People were showing us the scars on their backs.”
Hat tip, Mudville Gazette, who adds a few words from those unavailable to be interviewed by WaPo, such as Marine Capt. Ryan Beaupre, 30, of Bloomington, Ill., killed March 20, 2003, in a helicopter crash in Kuwait:
Mom & Dad,
Well if you are reading this, then things didn’t go well for me over in Iraq. I’m sorry for the pain that I have caused you because of this. Please do not be upset with the Marine Corps, the military, the government, or the President. It was my choice to go into the military. The President and my higher commanders were just doing what they thought was best. Realize that I died doing something that I truly love, and for a purpose greater than myself.
There is a paragraph that I read from time to time when I lose focus. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” John Stewart Mill
Now there is a little Marine Corps bravado in there, but I do believe in the basic premise. I want you to know that I could not have asked for better parents, or a better family. … I’ll never forget that one of my friends in elementary school said that if he could trade places with one person, he’d trade places with me because of my parents and home life. I truly feel that I’ve had a blessed life thanks to you two. Please give my love to Alyse & Ryan, Kari & Matt & the girls, Chris & Brandy, and everyone else in the family.
All my love,
Many people have said many things today, written many words, invoked many images. Those are two you might have missed.