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Flagging Support

When I went to the post office last week the flag was at half staff. We have a lot of flags flying down here, but that was the only one at half-staff, so I wondered who had died. I looked in Google and discovered that the Shrubbery had ordered flags at Federal facilities lowered to half-staff until this past Saturday to honor the people who died at Virginia Tech.

I know he jumped on the tragedy immediately, after all this was a disaster that wasn’t his fault, a rare thing indeed, but then I had another thought – this wasn’t really a national tragedy. This was a tragedy in Virginia, not the nation. This didn’t involve Federal employees or a Federal facility. Why was the Federal government intruding?

Then I had another thought, but it is better expressed by a member of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan – Soldier: Why half-staff for Va. Tech, not troops?

Why, indeed? Members of the nation’s military killed on active duty in combat ordered by the Federal government, but that government avoids honoring them in any way. Their bodies are shipped back to the US in the dead of night, and no pictures of the flag draped coffins are permitted, but there is the “Commander in Chief” of the US military flying in for a memorial service for people who were murdered on a college campus, and then he orders the the flags at half-staff, even at military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don’t guess the 9 members of the military killed in a single incident in Iraq today are worth the trouble of showing a little respect. This is how he supports the troops.

10 comments

1 Steve Bates { 04.24.07 at 8:20 am }

Why indeed. I expressed the very same thought to Stella when we were checking her Post Office box last Saturday. No disrespect, of course, to the victims at Virginia Tech, but why don’t they just leave the flags at half-mast until we bring our troops home from Bush’s awful discretionary war? There is certainly no shortage of violent deaths of Americans in that war; the flag gesture is the least we could do.

2 Michael { 04.24.07 at 9:03 am }

One of the relatively few things Rod the Bod has done as governator of Illinois that I can respect is to order flags flown at half-mast whenever an Illinois servicemember is killed. I believe they’re lowered as soon as the death is confirmed, and remain at half-mast until after the funeral.

3 Fallenmonk { 04.24.07 at 9:05 am }

Astute observation Bryan. When I saw the flags at half mast I immediately knew why they were being flown but I didn’t carry the thought forward. The flags should be flying at half mast all the time.

4 Bryan { 04.24.07 at 9:55 am }

Steve, I view most tragedy as personal, and wonder if the people at Virginia Tech don’t feel that their tragedy has become a national media event, not the private grief that it really is for all involved. The media doesn’t cover hurricanes in Okaloosa County because people made it quite clear after Opal in 1995, they are not welcome. I admit, after two days of the media in the county we got down right rude.

Of course, Michael, Florida under Jeb never did that, but the new governor, Charlie Crist, apparently ordered state offices to lower flags to half-staff for Virginia Tech. AF Special Ops, combat air control, and the 33rd Fighter Wing are local units and are deployed, but you don’t see flags lowered for them.

It would be nice, Fallenmonk, if they did something to acknowledge the sacrifice. The Shrubbery is on the radio every week. Would it be a major imposition to mention the the people who have died under his “command” during the previous week?

5 Michael { 04.24.07 at 10:54 am }

Would it be a major imposition to mention the the people who have died under his “command” during the previous week?

Yes. Because it would require him to admit, in public and to his base (who else listens to his weekly radio address?), that the “war” in Iraq is already lost–and all he’s doing is prolonging the death agonies.

6 John B. { 04.24.07 at 11:28 am }

Bryan,

I think you may be on to something here. From 9-11 forward, the only ‘sacrifice’ Bush has asked of all Americans is to go shopping. The highest ‘honors’ he has bestowed are occasional Freedom Medals for disgraced neocons and toady bureaucrats. He publicly ignores the dead returning from Iraq and shuts out the media from the “secret” return of caskets.

One wonders how the White House would respond to a nationwide call to lower the flags to half-mast every day in honor of our killed and maimed troops. Do you think the blogosphere could start such a movement?

7 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.24.07 at 1:33 pm }

Amen, Bryan, amen.

I could definitely get behind that nationwide half-mast movement.

This selfish frat-boy cokehead motherfucker hasn’t acknowledged even ONE fucking funeral of ANY of the Americans that HE has murdered through his corporate-welfare war-folly, hasn’t attended ONE funeral, hasn’t even ever SPOKEN of the dead soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, unless it’s to say that STOPPING the war would be to “dishonor” them.

Yeah, avoid killing all of their compatriots, that’s a REAL “dishonor.” As opposed to letting John McFonda piss on all their graves with his little “shopping” publicity stunt. What is it with these closet-cases and SHOPPING, anyway?!??!?! As if Condi didn’t do enough shopping while people were drowning in the streets of New Orleans.

If there were any justice in the world, Rove, Dumbya, Dick, Rumsfeld, McFonda, Powell, Poppy Bush and every Halliburton whore that lied us into this fake war would be swinging from gallows on the East Lawn, seeing as how the Hague hasn’t had the balls to press war crimes charges on the cocksuckers.

Oh, but THEIR funerals would be well-attended — imagine the people who would line-up just to spit on their Mussolini-mentality corpses.

8 Bryan { 04.24.07 at 5:49 pm }

You’re right, Michael, they don’t want people to be aware of the real costs of their war. If people don’t have a personal stake in the war they can ignore them. It’s like the Wicca symbol, they are more concerned about the reaction of their base than the people who are dying.

John, nothing gets through the “bubble”, the Blue Angels’ pilot who died in an accident received more attention than the 9 members of the 82nd who died yesterday. They should all be honored.

Annti, we must not forget to have a fair trial before the hanging.

9 Anntichrist S. Coulter { 04.25.07 at 8:01 pm }

They’ve had TWENTY YEARS of running this country into the fucking toilet, these republicunt capitalist pig motherfuckers (they just let us THINK that Bill Clinton was any different, and now he’s Poppy Bush’s fucking LAP DOG) — that’s more than enough of a “fair trial.”

They’ve fucked us all into the fucking ground so that their billionaire cronies can steal everything that’s left in this fucking country and the entire fucking WORLD.

Fuck them, they’ve had their trial and they are GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY AND WE ALL FUCKING KNOW IT!!!

To quote those old Pace Picante commercials, GET A ROPE.

10 Bryan { 04.25.07 at 8:54 pm }

I believe that traditionally you are supposed to decapitate monarchs.