Thursday, October 18, 2007

General Peter Pace ~ A Beautiful Farewell

General Peter Pace
leaves his stars at the Wall
for his men...
Heroes - one and all....

This story has been hitting many of our mailboxes and popping up on several blogs. I am posting it here to keep it as a record.

I wanted to share with you what we saw in Washington DC last week. After the mid-term brief we toured the Mall and made the usual stops at the WWII Memorial, the Wall, Lincoln Memorial, etc. At the Vietnam Wall we saw something unbelievable. We noticed three small index cards at the base of the Wall. I knelt down for a closer look and noticed that a 4-star general's rank was pinned to each card.

The cards were personally addressed and said:
These are Yours- not mine!
With Love and Respect,
Your Platoon Leader,
Pete Pace
1 Oct

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had laid down his rank for his boys who died in Nam just the day before! I later found out that 1 Oct was also the same day he stepped down as chairman.

I was furious when General Peter Pace was not offered a second term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was 'believed' that his appointment would be too controversial and that the Senate confirmation would be too ugly. That is probably true. But, what is also true is that one of the finest men in America was sent packing because of petty politics waged by people who will never be half the patriot that he is.

This act of leaving his stars for his fallen men should not surprise anyone who has listened to him, read his speeches and watched his interactions with his troops. This is a man whose core essence is Lt Pete Pace, who dedicated his entire life to honor those he led. As his ranks became larger and larger, in his heart he remained Lt Pete Pace. He remained a Platoon Leader.

Thank you, Sir, for all you and Lynne have given to our country. We are a better country because of your service. I am a better person for watching your grace, your perseverance, your patriotism.



Buck Pennington said...

I first read this over at Lex's place yesterday, but he didn't have the photos. Thanks for posting this, Flag Gazer.

You're absolutely correct about General Pace...his character, integrity, and dedication to Country and Corps (and the military, in general) is unquestionably of the HIGHEST caliber.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Truly a Patriot.

Ron Simpson said...

what is so sad about this, is that the politicians get to choose the fate of the highest ranking military commander without ever asking the soliers that he led. I wonder what the soldiers in all the branches think about the way he was treated?
I am no longer a soldier, but in my heart I will always be a soldier. I served my country not for college money (like some stupid Democrats like to say), but because I knew from the time that I was about 12 that I wanted to be a soldier. And I am a much better man because of it.
I come from a long line of military men. Just about every male relative of mine has served in one of the armed services. NONE of them were drafted, even in WW2. They all volonteered. Now, even the women are starting to volonteer. My entire family supports the military and our country.

Mike's America said...

I was disappointed General Pace wasn't reappointed also.

But of course his nomination hearings would have been a circus and at the time things were on a knife's edge and could have gone either way politically for support to our mission in Iraq.

I miss Donald Rumsfeld too, and was glad to see the interview with Vice President Cheney last weekend where he stuck up for him.

CopTheTruth said...

Truly an exceptional leader and a Marine's Marine...


Never having picked up a rifle for this country there is little or nothing that doesn't cause me to be in awe of those that have the honor and the dedication and the willingness to put their lives on the line for all of us.

General Pace is truely an American Hero.

Gunslinger said...

I had the good fortune of speaking with the General when I was taking pictures for his farewell ceremony here at Speicher, Iraq. He was a fantastic speaker and a humble man. Even as he was leaving after 40 years of service, Gen. Pace came here to thank us Soldiers for OUR service. He is a great man. I had the honor of also briefly speaking with Adm. Mullen, his replacement. Although new at this position, Adm. Mullen is totally locked on with Iraq and what needs to happen.

Ron Simpson said...

Thanks for this, Gazer. I snagged the pics for my blog. Men like Pace are indeed rare and should be remembered and honored.

Amy Proctor said...

Peter Pace is an exemplary man. I heard his farewell speech and he mentioned the names of the men he scribbled on the card.

We've lost a great leader because of politics. Democrats should be ashamed, but of course, they aren't.