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,
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.SEMPER FI.