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UPDATE: Dear Pack 3311

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has linked to or commented on the post about the letter my son’s Cub Scout pack received from the Marine captain in Iraq.

When I first posted the letter, I emailed out a quick little notice to a few of my favorite sites that I thought might be interested. And not a single one of them linked to the post or responded.

I couldn’t figure it out. Sure, this isn’t earth-shaking. But I really beleived it was more than parental pride that made me think this was worth pointing out to folks. As the days went by, though, I decided that no one must care, or maybe that Murdoc Online had been blacklisted for some reason or another.

A couple of days later I discovered that the email had been tied up in my anti-virus software. I had sent it from my notebook, and hadn’t used the machine since then, so I hadn’t seen the error.

I resent the message, and a number of great sites have since linked, including Expat Yank, Donald Sensing, Frank Warner, Joanne Jacobs, Suitable for Mixed Company, What’s That Smell?, and, most recently, Michelle Malkin.

Needless to say, some of those are the heaviest hitters who have ever linked to MO, and I thank you one and all.

Also, I’d like to point out two things that others have said about this little bit of interaction between our deployed military members and our young kids.

First is a comment on the original post:

Thanks for posting the story about two worthy institutions, the Boy Scouts and the USMC. My son is in Boy Scouts, and in fact, I’m just headed out the door for a camp out with the troop. Seems strange that at a time like this, when courage and integrity are in such short supply, that these two venerable institutions are under attack.

There’s no doubt that both the Scouts and the Marines suffer from isolated problems at times, but they both also turn out large numbers of excellent human beings that probably have a bit of a leg up on being capable adults that many others don’t have.

Problems? Imperfections? By all means, fix them. But don’t pretend that the entire organization should be torn apart or cast aside.

Second, James at What’s That Smell wrote:

The difference between European-style cynicism and the American lack thereof, is that an American will read the words written by the Marine, believe them, and know them to be what that Marine really believes, and, perhaps, like me, will get a lump in his throat. A European would probably dismiss the Marine’s words as being dreamt up by a propaganda specialist, or would pity the Marine for feeling that way about his country and the things he is doing in its name.

I’d hesitate to split Europeans and Americans so clearly on this, as I personally know many Americans who would immediately take the “European-style” cynic’s view of this. I also imagine that many Europeans won’t do so.

But the truth is that many people will simply dismiss this as propaganda or misguided patriotism, and that’s very sad.

I know that my son is proud to have been part of something that touched American servicemen over in Iraq. And I know that the words of the Marine captain were felt not only by the boys of Pack 3311, but by many of the adults who listened to the letter being read that evening. Yours truly was one of them, and I’m not too proud to admit that the lump James mentioned made an appearance.

Thanks to all who have linked, commented, and read.

UPDATE: More links to the post include: What’s the Rumpus, Palm Tree Pundit, and a comment on Little Green Footballs.

Also: Dreaming Big Dreams, who did me the honor of posting the pic of my son saluting the flag on 9/11 this past fall.

I’ll try to keep adding links as I find them.

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Comments

  • I am here just to say that I will check out those sites and look over the links just getting back into blogging but wanted u to know I was still a fan. thanks…

  • James says:

    Hi Murdoc, Yeah, you’re right, I was being a bit harsh on Europeans in general. But I do think that cynicism is not an ‘American’ trait, and cynicism did not help the US to become the greatest country in the world. And cynicism did not found the Scouting movement in the UK, either. I’ve just had a few recent experiences where people were rude to me and immediately dissed my person, and the only reason I can think of (other than B.O.) is because of my accent. That being said, I have had the singular pleasure of meeting and chatting with British WWII veterans, among others, who love us (I even met one guy who flew the Berlin Airlift as well; a truly humbling experience). I sometimes look around me, here in England, and I ask myself if this is what they and both of my grandfathers fought for? Apologies…I’m getting a bit maudlin now. But you would be surprised at how completely unfashionable patriotism has become on this side of the pond. There is a misguided belief over here that British/English national pride can only lead down the road to fascism. People tend to forget, though, that it wasn’t British pride that started two world wars…No, it’s all better now that we have the European Union…No more of that nasty nationalism…There will never be another war in Europe again…blah de blah de blah… Anyway, thanks for the rant space, and thanks for linking back to me. If I end up back in the States, I think I might get involved with Scouting again, and get my daughter involved too… Regards,

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