The Next Rotation - The Universe of Fenris Fox
30 November 2006
Mixed Prose/Poetry (Belated): Veteran's Day

Yes, it may be a couple weeks late - but better late than never. Things have a way of getting hung up in my pocket notebook.

[Article written on Veteran's Day, hence chronological references may appear incorrect.]

About 11AM or so, I saw a touching thing on the Fox News Channel. The Commander-in-Chief dedicated a museum to the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. - an organization which predates our Declaration of Independence (the Marine Corps. were founded in 1775), and whose honor and sacrifice my feeble language could never hope to do justice to.

Concluding the press conference was the most touching thing of all - the awarding of the 2nd Congressional Medal of Honor of the War in Iraq.

I've watched documentaries and looked at a book describing some of the things done by these men to earn the Medal - and it made me feel like I was standing by the ocean. Compared to what these people did - often giving their lives in the process - I can only feel like a grasshopper living off the huge sacrifices of the ants.

And if I feel this way just from media sources, imagine what those closer to these heroes feel like.

Today's Medal of Honor went to Corporal James Dunham. After fighting an Iraqi insurgent in hand-to-hand combat, a grenade rolled out, threatening to kill both he and his two Marine comrades.

Without hesitation, he jumped on the grenade, using his own body - his own life - as a shield, to absorb the violence of the weapon.

Some people think a special place in Hell should be reserved for those who commit the most heinous of acts; when I hear things like this, though, I feel as if a special place in Heaven should be reserved for those who commit these ultimate, selfless acts. If there is such a place, Corporal Dunham is surely there now, along with our Father*.

The enemy wanted to see three helmets on rifles (the sad symbol of a fallen soldier) - but thanks to this brave man, two of them lived to see the sunrise of another day.

When I think of tales like this one - or any of these selfless acts from any war - I have a feeling I cannot describe. It wells up throughout my whole body, and has the power to inspire in me both thought and art.

It is not sadness,
It contains respect -
It demands love
It makes me think of the Eagle soaring in the sky.
It makes me feel as if I also fly -
Knowing what its like to be free...

This is the Land of the Free;
Because it is the Home of the Brave!

A thanks to all those who lived through hell to make our lives worth living -
But a bigger thanks, to those whose souls rose to touch the face of God,
And whose bodies line the Hallowed Ground from Washington,
to Tarawa & Iwo Jima,
Normandy, Vietnam,
and through the Mists of Time to Afghanistan and Iraq.

To this simple modern writer,
Your lesson has not been lost.

As long as we remember,
You shall never die;
Upon my soul I do swear,
Your lesson I shall always pass on
With any means that's mine.


* : I added this paragraph at the time of typing - which would be today, 30 November.
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Assorted writings & artwork of a furry. Sometimes presented from the point-of-view of the author's "fursona" (personal furry): Fenris "Fenny" Fox, the futuristic kitsune.

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