Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Michael Anthony Monsoor: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Michael Anthony Monsoor died in 2006, after using his body as a shield to protect his fellow-SEALs. Today, his parents received the Congressional Medal of Honor on his behalf, at the White House.

Two excerpts from the White House press release stood out for me:

"He earned their confidence with his attention to detail and quiet work ethic. One of Mike's officers remembers an instructor once asking after an intense training session, 'What's the deal with the Monsoor guy? He just says, "Roger that," to everything.' "

"Perhaps the greatest tribute to Mike's life is the way different service members all across the world responded to his death. Army soldiers in Ramadi hosted a memorial service for the valiant man who had fought beside them. Iraqi Army scouts -- whom Mike helped train -- lowered their flag, and sent it to his parents. Nearly every SEAL on the West Coast turned out for Mike's funeral in California. As the SEALs filed past the casket, they removed their golden tridents from their uniforms, pressed them onto the walls of the coffin. The procession went on nearly half an hour. And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten."

I also appreciated reading that Michael A. Monsoor died on Saint Michael's Feast Day, September 29. A Catholic like me appreciates details like that. I pray that Michael Anthony Monsoor had a happy death, as he assuredly avoided the straw death that my Nordic ancestors feared.

The White House press release includes a video (14:29) of the presentation ceremony.

"Navy SEAL paid ultimate price to save buddies" CNN (April 8, 2008), does a pretty good job of covering the event, and includes a link to a video of Michael's sister talking about her memories.

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.