One of my favorite passages from Zell Miller’s RNC speech sets the theme for today’s July 4th news and notes:
Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier.
And, our soldiers don’t just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom he abuses to burn that flag.
On America’s 230th birthday, keep these defenders in your thoughts and prayers:
Welcome home, soldiers:
A large group of soldiers from the 43rd Airlift Wing have returned to American soil just in time for Independence Day.
Around 175 airmen arrived Monday afternoon at Pope Air Force Base. The soldiers had been serving overseas in the war on terror.
Families hugged in reunions and relief as soldiers looked forward to spending Tuesday’s holiday with family.
Master Sgt. John Griem said he is used to the reunions. “The commute to work is about 6,000 miles,” Griem said.
“It’s a good job, it’s an honorable profession, and it’s making the world a better and safer place,” commander of the 2nd Airlift Squad Lt. Col. Dave Gould said.
Can reporters at the NYTimes say the same?
A sadder homecoming for Private First Class Thomas Tucker, who was buried over the weekend. Thousands attended a public memorial service:
Gov. Ted Kulongoski urged mourners at a memorial service for Pfc. Thomas Tucker on Saturday to ”learn more from the way he lived than from the horrific way he had to die.”
Kulongoski called Tucker, 25, kidnapped and killed by Iraqi insurgents, ”the best Oregon had to give.”
About 3,500 people came to the cavernous Events Center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds to pay honor to the Madras soldier who had been in Iraq since February. An Army Honor Guard carried the casket.
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden described courage as ”not the absence of fear but the recognition of fear and the ability to move forward in spite of it.”
He said Tucker ”passed in abundance.”
Walden said he did not know Tucker, ”but, like most Oregonians – indeed like all Americans – we owe him a debt of gratitude we will never be able to pay.”
Also laid to rest this weekend, Spc. David Babineau, who was killed in the same raid that claimed Pfc. Tucker and Pfc. Kristin Menchaca’s lives:
David Babineau was supposed to be discharged from the Army in late May, come home and give his 2-year-old son his first haircut.
On Saturday morning, the boy, Dominic Babineau, ran around at his father’s memorial service in Springfield, his fine blond hair down to his shoulders.
Spc. David Babineau, 25, was one of three soldiers killed in Iraq on June 15 as they guarded a checkpoint in Yusufiyah, outside Baghdad. Babineau was shot in his Humvee while the other two soldiers — Pfc. Kristian Menchaca of Houston and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras, Ore. — were kidnapped and later found beheaded.
Babineau was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday and was honored at a memorial service in Springfield on Saturday morning. About 200 people attended the short service at American Legion Post 277.
Reader Kyle H. reminds me of another significant anniversary today:
July 4th is not only the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but it is also the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest victories in the war on terror.
July 4th is the anniversary of the Isreali raid on Entebbe, Uganda. Early on July 4, 1976, the Isreali Special Forces rescued around 100 hostages from the
PLO and the Bader-Meinhof gang. All of the terrorists were killed. Sadly a couple of the hostages were killed and one memeber of the Isreali forces; their
commander, Jonathan Netanyahu (Benjamin’s older brother).
I hope you get a chance to read this and remind the rest of the world that the war on terror has been going on a lot longer than 5 years.
The White House Independence Day site is here.
It’s Bill Clinton’s favorite poem, but I still love it, too:
Sung at the Completion of the
Battle Monument, July 4, 1837
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept,
Alike the Conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone,
That memory may their deed redeem,
When like our sires our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, or leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and Thee.
Val at Babalu Blog celebrates the “land that I love.”
File under “We the People:” A new conservative talk radio network launches at 6am on Independence Day. It’s called Wide Awakes Radio. Check ‘em out.
Thomas Sowell asks: Is patriotism obsolete?
Scott Johnson at Power Line posts the best holiday-timed blabbermouth parody of the week.
And in the extended entry, a little July 4th Schoolhouse Rock treat via YouTube:
August 30, 2013 10:23 AM by Michelle Malkin
January 7, 2013 08:27 AM by Michelle Malkin
April 20, 2013 01:08 PM by Michelle Malkin
May 13, 2013 08:37 AM by Michelle Malkin
June 19, 2013 08:44 AM by Michelle Malkin