Home > Uncategorized > Ft. Hood’s Pointless Monument

Ft. Hood’s Pointless Monument

The Army unveiled a monument today to 13 people who were killed a year ago today. These were the people who were killed by a Muslim yelling “Allahu Akbar!” For those of you who don’t know, that is Arabic for “God is great!” The AP story about this monument doesn’t mention any of this until the end of the story. The first 90 percent is predictable treacle about weeping families, stories of how wonderful the dead guy was, and people trying to extract meaning from the deaths.

Also predictable is the fact the the AP talks about the killings in the passive voice. It talks about the people who died, not the people who were killed. Even the victims used the passive voice, as if reluctant to speak the truth. That truth being, of course, that the 13 people memorialized today didn’t just die, they were murdered. They were shot dead by a Muslim terrorist who made no secret of that fact.

But the AP wasn’t the worst. CNN reports on the web didn’t mention that the “lone gunman” was a Muslim terrorist. Raycom News Network, reporting for KSLA, Texas mentions the shooter’s Muslim affiliation, but left out the part about “Allahu Akbar.” Even the assorted dignitaries treated the shooting as a random criminal event, not once using the words murder or attack.

We are a country of monuments. You can’t swing a dead general without hitting a statue, or plaque, or marker to some historical event or other. We have entire cities dedicated to honoring the dead; think Gettysburg. And there are two common threads running through these monuments.

The first is that some human actions are worthy of remembrance and emulation. Think of Olive Park, on Chicago’s lakefront, named after Milton L. Olive, or Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado, named for Donald W. Evans. These memorials serve to remind us that there are things greater than ourselves worthy of honor, and there are actions worthy or emulation.

The second thread regarding our monuments is that there are actions taken by groups that are indispensable to who we are, and were made necessary by our need to serve all humanity, even at the risk of many lives. The World War II Memorial reminds us that it is sometimes necessary for entire nations to take actions that serve all of humanity, while the various Revolutionary War monuments remind us of the cost to produce the “last, best hope of mankind.” (Abraham Lincoln on the U.S.)

The problem with the monument at Ft. Hood is that it does neither. Without recognizing the true nature of the killings, the monument teaches us no more about individual bravery than those crosses randomly scattered about highways. Without recognizing the true nature of our enemy, this monument teaches us nothing about our nation’s urgent need to act decisively against a mortal threat.

There is a reason that we don’t place memorials to crime victims. It isn’t that their death is less tragic, or less painful than any other. It is that those deaths teach us nothing that isn’t already known intuitively by every person.

Almost any loss of life is tragic, especially among the young and those just beginning their careers. Who among us is not moved by stories of teenagers killed in auto accidents, or children lost to cancer. And when we see those things, we make sense out of them by recognizing them for what they are, and working to prevent further occurrences. We make DUI a crime, and we donate to cancer research. But until we recognize what happened at Ft. Hood for what it really was, a terrorist attack by forces that want to destroy us, we can neither make sense of it, nor take steps to prevent its recurrence.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 22, 2010 at 4:56 am

    great one

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