Articles & Excerpts

America's Sacrifice

This section contains writings that highlight the sacrifices Americans are willing to make yesterday, today and tomorrow in defense of freedom and liberty.

Lt. Brian Bradshaw

Washington Post
July 15, 2009
Pg. 19

A Soldier Comes Home

On July 5, The Post published a letter from Martha Gillis of Springfield, whose nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, was killed in Afghanistan on June 25, the day that Michael Jackson died. The letter criticized the extensive media coverage of Jackson's death compared with the brief coverage of Lt. Bradshaw's death. Among the responses was the following letter, written July 9 by an Air National Guard pilot and a fellow member of the crew that flew Lt. Bradshaw's body from a forward base in Afghanistan to Bagram Air Base. Capt. James Adair, one of the plane's pilots, asked the editorial page staff to forward the letter to the Bradshaw family. He and Brian Bradshaw's parents then agreed to publication of these excerpts.


Safely Rest

By David P. Colley

It was a parade of sorts that began shortly after the Joseph V. Connolly sailed past Ambrose Light, through the Narrows, and glided slowly into New York harbor in the early morning haze of October 26, 1947. Two sleek navy destroyers, the USS Bristol and the USS Beatty, and the gleaming white Coast Guard cutter, Spencer, wheeled into position to escort the Liberty Ship as their crews snapped to rigid attention along the guardrails. On the Connolly’s boat deck an honor guard surrounded a solitary flag-draped coffin that stood out in the defused autumn light, a swatch of red, white and blue against the ships gray flanks.

Iwo Jima

By Arthur Herman

On Feb. 19, 1945, more than 110,000 Americans and 880 ships began their assault on a small volcanic island in the Pacific, in the climactic battle of the last year of World War II. For the next 36 Days Iwo Jima would become the most populous seven-and-a-half square miles on the planet, as United States Marines and Japanese soldiers fought a battle that would test American resolve even more than D-Day or the Battle of the Bulge had, and that still symbolizes a free society’s willingness to make the sacrifice necessary to prevail over evil-a sacrifice as relevant today as it was 60 years ago.


Our Honored Dead

Our Honored Dead

Essay on Quartermaster care of the dead from the Civil War to Korea

Our Honored Dead
By Florence Cannon

The Quartermaster Review
May-June 1952

"Show me the manner in which a nation or a community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals." – Gladstone.

DURING wars or in peacetime, no part of the mission of the Army is more sensitive than the responsibility for the care and burial of the dead of the armed forces. Essentially a peace-loving nation, intent primarily upon providing better things for better living, and exercising the right to happiness, for ourselves and for future generations, we never shrink from arming ourselves for the protection of the rights inherent in the principles on which our country was founded.

Col. Jack Jacobs on Memorial Day

Have we forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day?

As national sacrifice gave way to national prosperity, we largely replaced gratitude with barbecues, and solemnity with slashed prices at the mall.

By Jack Jacobs
Military analyst
Updated: 9:06 a.m. ET May 29, 2007

A long time ago, when I was attending public school in New York City, the academic year was a grueling affair. Teachers were highly skilled, demanding and generally bereft of sympathy. They had a low threshold of pain for bad behavior, inattentiveness, substandard academic performance, and sloppy penmanship.