This country suffered a devastating loss this week. Thirty of our finest military were killed during a raid in Afghanistan. This loss involved members of the same unit that recently eliminated Osama Bin Ladin in Pakistan. While it did not involve those who actually conducted the Bin Ladin raid, it was their brothers-in-arms, their “family.”
Any death on the battlefield should hold the same significance to us, no matter the circumstance. But when we hear that such a number of decorated and effective fighters have given the ultimate sacrifice, it affects us deeply. These are the “front line warriors” who intentionally go in harm’s way, to keep the battle at the enemy’s gates and off our shores.
One dictionary defines bravery as: a quality of spirit that enables one to face danger or pain without showing fear. That these special men and women are brave is unquestionable. It’s what else they are that we are in need of reminding. They are dedicated, selfless, sacrificing patriots who are above politics and the materialism of an easy lifestyle. They are of single focus; to do what they are able to keep us safe and exhibit a presence that tells our enemies, “don’t tread on us.”
Oh, how we grieve. We grieve for the families of these fallen heroes, whose hearts ache and who cry out in anguish. We grieve for those whose family members still face these dangers daily. We grieve for ourselves, that we are so helpless to say or do enough to matter in their lives. And we grieve for this country, that we have to send our best and brightest to to die in these hostile lands.
I am convinced that this tragedy will become a political football to be kicked around and fumbled. It always is. Maybe that is a good thing, maybe not. But if it clouds the memory of these brave souls, well, that is not a good thing.
“In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”