Why Another Blog?

I've decided to set up another blog, (my other one is called Writer's Musings), because there are some topics just too weighty for that blog.

So here it is. In this space I'll explore more serious issues in more detail. I do not expect visitors to agree with me in all cases.
In this forum feel free to take off the gloves, grab a handful of mud and fight for what you believe in.

Simple rules, rather like cage-fighting in the blogosphere:
No direct name calling. No excessive profanity. No whining when smacked in the face with mud.
Sling inuendo. Feel free to ask leading questions even if in a snide tone.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Ceremony in Aghanistan

On Monday, Memorial Day at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, there was a memorial service for the two Americans who were killed on 20 May by an IED. The AP article can be found here:

Associated Press

There is casual mention of Coalition partners and civilian contractors being in attendance, but even that reference is far from complete. What the AP didn’t mention at all was the fact that there were also Afghans in attendance. In fact nowhere in the US media did this story get the kind of attention it deserves. This story is important not for what the AP reported, but for the most significant parts they did not report.

The two Americans killed last week, Lieutenant Roslyn Schulte and Mr. Shawn Pine, were Jewish. They were mentors for the Afghan National Army General Staff. The Afghans they mentored were in attendance and they presented wreaths to honor the fallen. Additionally, two Ministers and other high-ranking officers of the Afghan National Army General Staff were in present along with numerous Afghan Police and Afghan civilians.

Afghan and American Officers greet each other with the "Kiss of Peace"

Most significant was that a high-ranking Afghan officer gave a eulogy for the two Americans. Understand this: a Muslim gave a eulogy for two Jewish Americans. Why does this not make the news? Doesn’t anyone recognize the significance of this?

Afghan Officer giving eulogy for Roslyn Schulte and Shawn Pine

On the day that Lieutenant Schulte and Mr. Pine were killed, there were Christians, Muslims and Jews in the convoy. The other two people in the vehicle that was hit were Muslim and they were wounded. Some of the first people on the scene to assist were Afghan civilians and Afghan police. As the bodies were taken from the scene, Afghans and Americans wept together. Why is this story not told?

During the ceremony it was mentioned that one of the Afghans who worked with Mr. Pine remarking on his death said, “It is as if I’ve lost my brother.”

Jewish Chaplain

Don’t the media recognize the significance of a Muslim calling a Jew his brother and weeping over his death? Throughout the ceremony, several of the Afghan officers cried. When the Jewish Chaplain sang a Hebrew prayer, many Afghans bowed their heads. Afghan officers embraced the Jewish Chaplain before and after the ceremony.

Afghan and American Officers sharing condolences.
Note the Afghan Officer low in the picture with bowed head.
He was crying.

It seems to me the mainstream media want to keep portraying this war as American against the Afghans, but nothing can be further from the truth. A more honest report would have at least included some acknowledgment of the Afghan’s presence at our ceremony. Their presence at the ceremony is symbolic of the larger picture.

Afghan Officer after signing condolence books that would be sent to the families of the fallen.

This is the story that should be told: that people from many nations, Christians, Jews and Muslims are working together in common cause against the true enemy. There is no reason that Christians, Muslims and Jews cannot live together in peace and respect. During our ceremony we showed that it is indeed possible and it is a beautiful thing to see. The differences that truly divide us are no wider than a line in the sand. Yet somehow, the mainstream media do not seem to think this is worth reporting on.

Afghan Sergeants present the wreaths

The wreaths presented by the Afghans flank comrades-in-arms as they pay last respects.

It should also be noted that soldiers from the following allies were in attendance: The United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, France, Turkey, Norway, Hungary, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Spain and Italy. My apologies to any that I may have missed.

1 comment:

momcat said...

Thanks for bringing us the real story behind the story. Understanding, affection and compassion are not newsworth items.