Is it Act III or IV in Iraq?
America has lost a Hector.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates teared up while making remarks on Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec, who was killed in Baghdad while on his second tour. Known as the "Lion of Fallujah," Zembiec leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old daughter. Gates shows emotion around the 50-second mark of the below video.
The Trojan character in Homer's The Iliad is the most tragic in the epic, and his heroism in the face of a hopeless situation (for the gods leave him in battle), as well as his deep, sentimental love for his wife Andromache and his son Astyanax, puts a face on the tragedy of war.
For so long have the American people known of the sacrifice of those serving, but the Bush Administration has done all they could to keep the reality of Iraq from the citizenry -- outlawing photographs of soldiers' coffins, not attending fallen soldiers' funerals, and offering stunts like George Bush's "optimism rally" documented by David Brooks. All this instead of giving a public face to what is now a national tragedy, and a lost war.
Those like me who know this war is effectively over, and wish to prevent this war from being another ten-year lost war, just like the Trojan War documented by Homer, are searching for signs of life, signs that the Iraq War is nearing its late phase(s), its Acts IV and V, if you will.
Gates' respectful show of emotion offers a longed-for glimpse, offering us hope that there are human beings running this war, not the bloodthirsty Vice President Dick Cheney or the "heh-heh," cocky, arrogant, defensive Worst President Ever, George W. Bush.
Zembiec's service was documented in a few New York Times articles. I have not read the articles, but I have little reason to doubt he is depicted similarly to Homer's Hector.
Go to schencka.livejournal.com to see the Iliad quotes I couldn't get to format right with Mindsay.
Rest in peace, Maj. Zembiec.
No profanes - sacred