Unless we remember we can’t understand
As this is written, on the heels of the news that President George H.W. Bush, hospitalized in Houston since Nov. 23 for bronchitis, has been moved into an intensive care unit, comes word of the death of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who in 1991 became the U.S.’s most popular post-World War II military leader after commanding the U.S.-led coalition forces that smashed Iraq.
How popular was “Stormin’ Norman” back home? He laughed while telling the late U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa. — himself, like Schwarzkopf, a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam — about attending the Kentucky Derby a few months after the Iraqi victory. The huge Churchill Downs crowd gave the general a standing ovation when he took his seat. After Schwarzkopf later got up to go to the men’s room, the Derby crowd gave him another ovation, and still more cheers greeted his return to his seat.
He obviously enjoyed the fame and the fortune he received. But to his credit, Schwarzkopf refused being called a hero, with a statement that I urge those in positions of power and influence in Washington — currently beating the war drums on Iran — to heed: “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
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