WHAT CASEY SHEEHAN DIED FOR
Watch the Video Tribute HERE
Filmed, Edited, and Produced by Buck Sargent
It is a worthy thing to fight for one’s freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man’s.
On April 4th, 2004 Army Specialist Casey Sheehan and seven fellow soldiers were killed during protracted combat with Shi'ite insurgents in Sadr City, Iraq. Sheehan, a Humvee mechanic, had volunteered for the rescue mission to relieve his besieged comrades only to be ambushed himself while en route. He had been in country for five days.
President Bush has made it clear that "America will not abandon Iraq" on his watch, yet he has acknowledged that the mission will likely continue on well past his presidency. And as in any long war, what is required most is a long lens and a long-run perspective in order to fully comprehend what is at stake and what we have to lose by declaring unconditional surrender. Such were the days when the American people demanded it of our enemies, not our own armies.
Ours has become an instant gratification nation, the countdown to ADD-Day stalking the horizon. Heading into its fourth year, the Iraq War has now lasted longer than most celebrity marriages. (Correction: Desert Storm lasted longer than most celebrity marriages). It has been said that the Vietnam War was lost on television, and that was when there were only three channels and they all screamed: RETREAT! But soldiers don’t watch the news, we make it. That is why the MSM refuse to tell our story, that is why they continue to poison the well back home, and that is why soldiers have taken it upon ourselves to “tell it like it is” on the internet.
Casey Sheehan's mother asks, “What did my son die for?” as she hops the globe with her traveling Cirque du Solemnity. His actions that fateful day provide the answer. Her son -- regrettably, now the second most famous Sheehan -- and the thousands of others like him, died for their brothers in arms. For their families at home. For their country. For a people they had little in common with other than a desire to live free from fear. For children that were not their own, but that reminded them of home. For the same thing forgotten Americans have long died for in forgotten places like Takur Gahr, Mogadishu, Hue City, Inchon, the Ardennes, Cold Harbor, and Bunker Hill.
They died not for "nothing," but for no thing. They died for a set of ideals, principles, a creed. Imaginary concepts impossible to “deconstruct,” yet born out of war and nourished by the blood of patriots in a long line of succession that remains unmoved, unbroken, and unmatched. Displaying the best known side of human nature: steadfast opposition to its worst. Becoming intimate with war, thus allowing others to know peace. Sacrificing their future progeny for another's in defense of the weak and the vulnerable. Avenging the ghostly remains left behind from a tyrant unburdened by conscience. To protect the right of lesser men (and women) to freely and openly ridicule their sacrifice.
“What did my son die for?” A question better left to Iraqis themselves to answer. Take the mayor of Tall’Afar, Najim Abdullah Abid al-Jibouri:
“To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.”
Casey Sheehan was killed defending freedom on Palm Sunday.
Cindy, says Mayor Najim, let not your heart be hardened. Be not bitter, but proud. None that walk among us are immortal, and to bury a child is forever a tragedy. Yet your son lost his life in the most honorable manner possible. He died so that others may live.
I’d say that puts him in pretty good company.
COPYRIGHT 2006 BUCK SARGENT