Wednesday, July 25, 2007

JJ and Hurstie memorial day

This month was officially declared the month of Tad because of his Mad MS Office SkillZ, which have been in great demand by CPATT up at our headquarters as they do all their slides and spreadsheets. I don't miss that, by the way. I'm happy to be down here in an active training environment. I spend plenty of time at my desk, but I have ample opportunity to escape- watch training, exercise, and....well, that's about it, but I do get away from the desk quite a bit. I digress.

While this month is Tad's, today belongs to JJ and Hurstie. I mentioned them last week, a couple of my contractor friends who were killed by an attack on their vehicles in a convoy up to Baghdad. Today we had the memorial service, one planned and run by BLP with a wide range of participants, to include BLP employees, local nationals, an Iraqi Army officer or two, the U.S. forces, including the CPATT commander, and some Australian forces, including their chaplain, who tag teamed with the U.S. chaplain.

I wish I had the words to do them justice, the eloquence to honor the sacrifices each of them made in their service to their company and to the country of Iraq in training their police. But I don't. After 10 days now, the energy and emotion is gone, and I feel empty- I'm not sure if it is fatigue, numbing, or knowing that we've got 2,000 trainees coming tomorrow and 9 months to go before I can rest. But I was present, and that is what I had to offer at that point. Many honored them by their attendance and efforts today. We also hope to honor them by continuing to improve in doing the work which they were doing, and do it in as professionally a manner as possible. Both the police ode and the military odes recited at the end of the service had similar refrains for the audience to utter in reply to promptings from the readers: We will remember them. We will remember. Lest we forget.

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