Yesterday Fort Stewart, home of the 3rd Infantry Division, held a tree dedication ceremony in memory of another fallen soldier, SGT Aaron Wittman, 28 years old. He was the first American soldier killed in Afghanistan this year, but this tree dedication is but one of 445 for this military installation. The news article can be found here.
A few years ago I attended one of these tree dedication ceremonies and memorials should serve as a reminder to us all. It made me tear up just seeing these long lines of trees with personal items placed around the base by their brothers and sisters in arms, their friends and family. It forcefully reminds you that these were all young people in the prime of their lives who died in service to our country. We should never forget that the policies our government follows come at a very real cost for those in uniform. This young soldier’s father said his son, “loved being a soldier”. We should never forget these brave soldiers, but we need to demand accountability of our leaders in Washington. President Obama should attend a few of these ceremonies and talk to the families, at least as often as he has time to golf.