Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

I will be updating this, after we perform our little family ritual. Meanwhile, if you're feeling the stirring of the spirit and want to do something about it, Winds of Change has an excellent and well-researched standing post of ways to help the current troops, including those of our allies (and yes, though you might not realize it to see the news broadcasts, we do have allies).

And this:

But news of a baby girl with a circulatory condition who needed hand surgery getting medical help from U.S. soldiers and a concerned nurse did not become a SIGACT, nor will it be included in a media release. So, unless a reporter was embedded with that unit at that time--and decides to tell the story--no one will ever know this one small, but powerfully important detail. There are a thousand such details falling like trees in a forest, but no one is listening for those kinds of sounds.

I write about them when I can, but there's an irony to all of this that is hard to escape. Most of the acts of kindness I witness are done from an instinctive altruism that almost always seeks anonymity. And there is that other problem with catching people doing good--the cynical media is quick to ascribe cheap motivations to soldiers who reveal their humanity through their decency. And does anyone really care about the soldiers who, after having arrested a suspected insurgent, then spent the next twenty minutes trying to find a home for the two little puppies he was keeping?