In Memory of the Fallen
Carl's Blog entry after 1st
Sgt John Blair was killed in combat.
July 4, 2009
I hesitate to write this, because I do not whish to seam a braggart.
I am simply one among many who have come before and will soon
follow. So let me first emphasize that there is nothing to brag
about, but there is plenty to be proud of. And it is that same deep
feeling of pride and honor that I hope you will feel after reading
An American soldier has died. An American warrior sacrificed his
life. It is not really important who he is, for he is yet another of
But he is not just a number. As Americans we embrace individuality
to the core, and as an American soldier his life, actions, and
beliefs are unique and important. To those who knew him, they will
be forever engrained with their memories of him – good, bad, and the
ugly. They will learn, derive strength from, and build upon those
This warrior will be carried home, draped in the flag that adorned
his right shoulder. He turned a number the instant he was killed,
but in his journey home he will come to represent more than his
individualism. He and his family will now stand among those who
given a life, the few who will know what sacrifice truly is.
And it is to this most important point fact I write. Some will argue
“The American soldier stands for freedom,” or “what war can waste.”
They will twist his sacrifice to meet their needs, and to some
extent it is their right to gain inspiration from it, for as
soldiers we strive to set the standard and inspire the future.
But hear me now, there is a line. You do not have to believe these
warriors beliefs, or sacrifice as he did. But there is a line. A
line of respect. And if you have not sacrificed for this country,
for that man on the line to your left and right, if you have not
bled or sweated for this country, then you damn well better respect
Stand when they pass, when their flag passes or raises and remember
you just happen to live under it. Silence your voice, quiet your
thoughts, and take off your hat. Respect what they have given and
you have not. For only those out there who have sacrificed will have
the right to decide that line of respect that they give, but I doubt
many will give less than their all.
I march now in time, solemn and resolute with my brothers, escorting
the soldier in front of me on his final journey home. And though I
did not know the man well, he was a warrior through and through.
Though I did not know him well, my brothers around me do; left and
right they stare forward with the pain and knowledge of what we have
lost. As we march by hands raise slowly in salute, Army, Marines,
Air Force, Navy, Afghan Police, civilians, every one, every one on
the base not to busy fighting the war. This is respect, this is
honor, and this is something any warrior would be proud of.
So do not forget what we have done, what we will do, and what we are
willing to do. We may not be right, we may not be wrong, but until
you join us in sacrificing for this country in one way or another,
do not forget respect. For I would hate to wake up to that dangerous
world as so many do; as a civilian knowing my Army doesn’t respect
His name is not important unless you knew him personally, so simply
call him an American Warrior.
In memory of the fallen…