As I have considered the events of the past week at Ft. Hood, this senseless tragedy makes me understand more clearly than ever, that while some Soldiers may not die on the battlefield, they still die in the war. When the deaths and wounds of last Wednesday and those who were the victims of Major Nidal Hasan are considered and put into the context of the entire effort in the Middle East, the senseless tragedy of last Wednesday clearly falls to the liability of the War on Terror.
Soldiers, however, are not supposed to be at risk here at home on their military posts and bases, they are home, not in the battle zone. It should be the assumption of all of them that violence will not be directed at them at home, and certainly not from one of their own... but here we are... and it has happened... twice at the same post. I can't imagine what the thoughts of our military must be. I consider what subconscious reasoning must surface time and time again during their workdays now.
The word senseless sticks in my own mind. So much has felt senseless for the last almost thirteen years. Yet I know that in response to 911 a war response was the only response that was appropriate.
I have no answers, I don't even know the right questions, but this I do know, the military and their families have borne a burden for this country which has taken a toll of great cost. For many it has been the ultimate cost, and I am grateful for all these Americans who have gone where they were told, done as they were instructed, and paid a price that has not been required of the rest of us. We owe them so much. Those who lost their lives and were wounded in both these incidents, including the Soldier who was the shooter this time, were the victims of war.
I feel moved to support them in every way that I can, and there are many ways, but for them I believe one of the most important ways they can all be supported is to remember the names of the fallen, and to honor them often. They will always remember the names of those who fall on the battlefield around them, and I believe they remember even more keenly the names of those who are lost after they return home, for whatever reason.
Remembering the names myself is not the only thing I feel led to do. Passing on to my own sphere of influence the stories of their service and devotion to sacred duty, especially the children of my family, is responsibility I cannot neglect. So over the past few days I have began the work of putting in a new rose garden at the ranch. It will be our own memorial to those of the two groups of Soldiers who lost their lives or were wounded at Ft. Hood in these two "senseless" tragedies of war. The following photos are the beginnings of my efforts. I will make more posts as the work of the garden goes forward, and explain the elements I have chosen for the garden and their significance. My family will remember always these two incidences at Ft. Hood, and understand that these too were lives given and forever changed in war.