On a visit to "No Quarter", I saw the post below, from American Girl in Italy. She writes:
"Killed in action the week before, the body of Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, on June 11, 2009. Sergeant Beale was from Henry County and local police escorted the procession from Atlanta to the funeral home in McDonough, Henry County, Georgia.
A simple notice had been placed in the local papers indicating the route to be taken and the approximate time.
You won’t believe what happened along the way, all the way from Atlanta to McDonough."
And this 12 minute video just broke me open:
I cried because of the human reaction to come out and pay tribute to one who died in service to the country we both lived in. Not because I am pro-war or pro-military, because I am not. I was absolutely against Bush's invasion of Iraq. I am opposed to our continued presence there. I am sad beyond belief at the lives lost and those ruined, and all over oil. Bush lied and people died - it's not just a cliche, people. They continue to die because we caused such a mess the politicians don't dare let us leave.
The Iraq invasion was criminal and the working families of this country pay the price. Now 20,000 more of them are going to be sent into harm's way because Obama has upped the U.S. ante in Afganistan. So much for ending these foreign invasions and bringing our troops back home.
I cried because I thought of the thousands of families who have gotten the bodies of a loved one back like the Beale's did. I cried for the families whose loved one returned home, only to kill themselves later because they could not live with what they saw and did there.
I cried because as much as I hate the wars, I would have felt drawn to stand in tribute on the side of the road, to honor this man's life, and to be part of giving some comfort to the family that mourns him.
This country is so different than it was 20 years ago. My generation has squandered the peace movement of the 60s. In guilt over how vets were treated after Viet Nam, the populal culture has glorified military service. We do everything but parade tanks down Pennsylvania Avenue on Independence Day. Bush militarized us the rest of the way so that it was considered unpatriotic to be appalled at the idea of invading Iraq. Until the bodies started coming home and the truth about the WMD lies came out.
These wars of invasion have weaked us. Now we are bankrupt financially. We have done to ourselves what Reagan did to the U.S.S.R.
I cried for that as well.