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Honor Knows No Rank!

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posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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At 9am this morning something new, something right, and something special happened at Arlington National Cemetary.


At Arlington National Cemetery, the sound of an Army band could be heard Friday as a young soldier was laid to rest. Spc. Joseph Hernandez, 24, died two weeks ago, when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle in Afghanistan.

Arlington handles burials for soldiers like Hernandez every day — about 7,000 ceremonies every year. But his was different.

The band — along with a colors team, an escort platoon and a horse-drawn caisson — are reserved for full-honors military funerals. And before now, Hernandez wouldn't have qualified for one.

That's because Army specialist is a junior enlisted rank, not an officer. But late last year, the Army changed the rules to allow all soldiers killed in action to receive full military funeral honors, regardless of their rank.


The move was instigated after a campaign from Sgt. 1st Class Robert Durbin, currently deployed in Iraq but who used to serve as casket squad leader at ANC. He was one of the pole bearers for President Reagan's casket.


Durbin is currently deployed in Iraq. But he used to serve as a casket squad leader at Arlington. He carried President Reagan's casket. And Durbin says he just got to wondering why only officers received full honors.

"Rank has nothing to do with honor," he says. "And my hypothetical example is that a second lieutenant can graduate officer candidate school. He could hypothetically die in a car accident and receive full honors at Arlington. Whereas an enlisted service member with 20 years in the Army could be killed in action over here or Afghanistan and receive a standard honors funeral. To me, that just doesn't pass the common sense test."


I just wanted to share this welcome story with you.


npr.org
ArlingtonCemetary




posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Amazing and I am so glad...

They are all Heroes, regardless of rank.

I have lost friends in combat, good friends. The kind of friends that you never have to wonder if "They will be there" or not; all of them enlisted, all of them Heroes.

While all that serve can be laid to rest in ANC, those that "gave all" should receive the full honors; and now, they do.



Outstanding!!!!

Semper Fi

Semper



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:35 PM
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I've served as honor guard in more funerals than I care to mention.
Rank does not matter if you've paid with everything you had.
I think it is a good change.
One thing is never going to change though.
Enlisted wakes are always better.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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Enlisted wakes are always better.


No argument there...

Been to both

Semper



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


I'm not sure I understand.
What is the difference if I may ask?



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Wake

Enlisted Wakes are celebrations of life, as are all wakes, but with a little more alcohol thrown in.

Semper

[edit on 1/23/2009 by semperfortis]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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That story makes my heart swell with pride.

"People sleep peacefully in their bed at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. " - George Orwell

These are the rough men. They deserve whatever we can give them back.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:52 PM
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Nice...

A little more respect for our E-4's and below...

About damn time...

Thanks for the update SD...





posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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Does anyone know why historically this has not been the case?



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:31 PM
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This is such great news. In my mind all people who have fought for our country deserve recognition, and I have always thought that people who have died for our country should be burried there regardless of rank.

I have always felt that EVERY soldiers contribution is just as important as the next soldier.

As the title says, Honor knows no rank, and I couldnt agree more.



[edit on 23-1-2009 by gimme_some_truth]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Does anyone know why historically this has not been the case?


I imagine it has something to do with the two class system that exists in America. The haves and the have nots. Often the haves are born into thier rank. The have nots are given a chance to distinguish themselves and make it into the haves, while the haves are more frequently given the benefit of the doubt.

I am glad to see that the soldier was given due honors.

Honor in latin



- cum laude, "with honor" (direct translation); "with praise"
- magna cum laude, "with great honor" (direct translation); "with great praise"
- summa cum laude, "with highest honor" (direct translation); "with highest praise"





[edit on 23-1-2009 by In nothing we trust]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 12:14 PM
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I don't know why there was a difference, but it's about darned time they changed. We must always fully honor our fallen comrades, regardless of the rank worn.

JB, Lt Col, USAF, (Ret)



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 



Originally posted by semperfortis
Amazing and I am so glad...

They are all Heroes, regardless of rank.


There is no greater service or heroism than laying down your life for your fellow man, this is for sure.



I have lost friends in combat, good friends. The kind of friends that you never have to wonder if "They will be there" or not.


Semper if I may ask you to be open on your feelings on a question I have.

I agree all these men should be buried with the same tradition, not seperate.

However on the Bigger picture, having yourself lost friends, and it seems ones you loved much, in service, did it change at all your feelings on the Military, or Armed conflicts?

Did it make you question the rational behind the decisions of the Government to send these men to battle? or make you feel even more resolute in your support of continuing any such conflict?

I am asking this from the standpoint of a very strong Anti war person, unless it is a "Just" one, or truly needed.

Also assuming those friends you lost were in recent conflicts, which I feel may have squandered their precious lives, for I can think of no Conflict since WW2 and fighting Nazism that was "just" as such.

Being a member of a Conspiracy site too and seeing the evidence often of the manufacture, and true reasons for some of these conflicts, does it not anger you somewhat?

I ask this in respect, and not in any way taking away any of the honor or dues that a country owes its fallen, but out of trying to understand more, the Truth.

Kind Regards,

Elf

[edit on 24-1-2009 by MischeviousElf]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 02:06 PM
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I just wanted to add eligibility clarification from Military Times.


Under the new funeral honors policy, eligible enlisted soldiers will be those who were killed as a result of:

• Any action against an enemy of the United States.

• Any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the U.S. military is or has been engaged.

• Action while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed combat against an opposing armed force in which the U.S. is not a belligerent party.

• An act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces.

• An act of any hostile foreign force.

• An international terrorist attack against the U.S. or a foreign nation friendly to the U.S., recognized as such an attack by the Army secretary.

• Military operations while serving outside the territory of the U.S. as part of a peacekeeping force.

• Action by friendly fire — that is, non-enemy weapons fire while directly engaged in armed conflict, unless the soldier’s death was the result of the soldier’s willful misconduct.

Enlisted soldiers killed in a combat zone or hostile-fire area as the result of non-hostile actions not noted above will continue to receive standard military funeral honors at Arlington, the policy states.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
reply to post by semperfortis
 



Originally posted by semperfortis
Amazing and I am so glad...

They are all Heroes, regardless of rank.


There is no greater service or heroism than laying down your life for your fellow man, this is for sure.



I have nothing against those brave men & women in combat, they are brave, no doubt, for being in harm way, but heroes?

If you really make an act of heroism, then yes, your fellow soldiers or the society can call you hero, but if you just step on a mine or your vehicle exploded in pieces, and you were in it, how does this make you an hero.

If everybody is an hero, how do you call someone doing an act of heroism?, a super-hero?

This is off-course, if word, still have meaning.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
reply to post by semperfortis
 


Semper if I may ask you to be open on your feelings on a question I have.



I pondered this for sometime as you asked me to be open, so I will as much as I can.


did it change at all your feelings on the Military, or Armed conflicts?


No. Soldiers die, that is what happens in war and why it should be avoided. The honor is in having served.


Did it make you question the rational behind the decisions of the Government to send these men to battle? or make you feel even more resolute in your support of continuing any such conflict?


Neither and both.
I was a warrior, a soldier and a Marine. In many ways, I guess with what I do, I still am. (Well always a Marine) I don't question the orders of those above me, especially in times of combat. Even more so as I was Special Ops, we just simply can not.
I have and always will support going into any environment and assisting those in need. Saddam needed to be removed, we did. The Iraqi Democratically Elected Government has requested that we stay and assist, I say we stay and assist.


unless it is a "Just" one, or truly needed.


That is the real problem isn't it? Who gets to decide if any conflict is "Just" or "Truly Needed", You? Me?
What you consider unjust, I support. Does that make you wrong? No. Does it make me wrong? No.
So others have to step up and decide; the others are the ones we elect as a whole nation. I support them. Do I like the Democratically controlled House and Senate? OH HECK NO!!! Would I go and fight if they told me too, YES.


seeing the evidence often of the manufacture, and true reasons for some of these conflicts, does it not anger you somewhat?


I have some trouble seeing the "manufacture of evidence" that some on here so easily believe in. Call me "Brainwashed" or the eternal skeptic, but simply because "some" on ATS are convinced one way or the other, will not "convince" me to follow their lead and more than say a politician. People spouting "Proof" this and "Proof" that does not make it proof.


I ask this in respect, and not in any way taking away any of the honor or dues that a country owes its fallen, but out of trying to understand more, the Truth.


I have no problem with your questions and if you wanted to start a thread on this and send me the link, I can promise I will contribute. I just thank you for your contributions to this thread and ATS as a whole. It is people like you, asking solid, well thought out questions that makes this the best site on the net.

Semper



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:03 PM
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Appropriate.



It's also appropriate for Americans to start seeing the price we pay for our decisions and misfortunes.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I strongly agree SD

I believe anyone who puts his or her life on the line and is thereby honoring their own country, deserves to have full military funeral honors, regardless of their rank. This is how it should always have been and I hate to think of all those people out there who have not received these honors in the past.

Excellent thread


Stared



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


Semperfortis, thank you so much for taking the time to Ponder and answer my questions, on what I am sure may have brought up some touching memories.

I never knew you had actively served yourself, never mind been in the Special Op's so your reply is even more poignant for me.

I still admit even though you have clarified for me much, deep down an inability to understand, the bravery and risks many like yourself have taken, when you might not be too sure of the rational behind some of the Orders. but that is as much maybe a lack on my part not to be as selfless in my actions when it comes to personal danger.

As you said someone has to step up as such, and if such Bravery had not been shown throughout the history of Man Liberal ex hippies like me would not have the time or freedom to question this devotion anyhow.

I would lay my life down now if I am sure of the cause, but I find the Ordering process from above the thing that I cannot integrate with my own Views.

However as you say who is it for me to say what is a correct cause or "Just", and your honesty has really given me much food for thought on how I have integrated my beliefs and where they come from, and indeed if they are "Just" or not.

Thank You indeed, and may your comrades in arms be safe this night, and all of your lost ones Rest in peace and be always remembered for the Bravery they have shown.

Kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by In nothing we trust
 


If I may be so bold as to disagree with you. The difference dates back far into antiquity...the officers were the landed gentry/royalty/upper caste, however you care to describe it, by definition, if not reality, they were better and more deserving of the honors.

This change is wonderful. Now my father, 3 war veteran (wwII, Korea, and Vietnam) should have been eligible. Honor isn't blood, it's something learned, and lived. Warriors, regardless of rank/social status, should be treated equally when they've given everything they have to give.

Thanks, SDog, I was not aware of this change.



[edit on 1/24/2009 by seagull]



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