Mourning, celebrating, or using?

There seems to be a lot of interesting views on making a marker in war on terror battle casualties. Some seem to use this to support and rationalize their views about the government and the military. They tend to put any perspective on the number or what would have been without the sacrifice.

Then there is Indepundit reporting on 1st Lt Bruce Bishop explaing why he serves.

Because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I’d be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them.

Then there is Ultraquiet no more talking about submarine losses in WW II.

Two recent articles in Florida newspapers discussed a “tolling the bell” ceremony honoring local submariners lost on Oct. 24, 1944. The first, from the St. Augustine Record (registration required; another copy not requiring registration is here) described that day as “the single worst day in U.S. submarine history”; the other, from the Palatka Daily News, describes that day, when three submarines and 168 submariners were lost, as “…that ignominous [sic] day.”

I disagree. While the losses of the USS Shark II, USS Tang, and USS Darter were a cause for mourning, their sacrifices were in no way “ignominious”.

Americans nowadays are repelled by any loss during military conflict, and forget that in WWII we were facing an implacable, well-armed enemy who wanted to win as badly as we did… … The “worst day in submarine history”? No — this day, as much as any other, was what showed the world the best side of American submariners. While we honor the sacrifice of the crews, we should continue to thank them for “showing us the way”.

There have been some who have bemoaned the war by citing a peace of the last fifty years in the mid-east. It seems that their recollection of history is rather flawed. The current casualties are in actual significant efforts to resist the horror and brutality and repression that has been the hallmark of the mid-east in recent history.

Those who use the current casualty count to bemoan the tragedy also seem to be rather misdirected. They fail to note that the causalty rate is down with major city murder rates or even the normal training and accident rate in the military.

The military should be celebrated for such low casualties in battle. The sacrifice of those who died in battle should be honored. The celebration should be in what they achieved, in the new ground being established by the citizens of Iraq ratifying a consitution and building a new model of self governance in the mid-east.

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