The death of 30 American troops, including 22 Navy SEALS, and eight Afghans in eastern Afghanistan is a sickening and grievous loss. These were individuals of extraordinary valor and patriotism who died defending the nation they loved and revered. Too many of us, who aren’t part of the military, will read this story, feel sad for a time and then move forward. Our lives will go on as before. But those in the military, and especially the friends and families of the fallen, will carry this wound to their graves. They will never forget what happened on Saturday morning south of Kabul.
“I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death,” General MacArthur said in his West Point address in 1962, speaking of the fallen American soldier. “They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood and sweat and tears as we sought the way and the truth and the light.”
“However horrible the incidents of war may be,” MacArthur went on to say, “the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the
noblest development of mankind.”
A few days ago in Afghanistan, 30 Americans serving there died gloriously on the field of battle. They perished sacrificing upon the altar of freedom. Their loss is overwhelming; so is their example of courage and honor.
They were the noblest among us.
Requiescat in pace.