Remembrance and Forgetfulness

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jun 21, 2006 11:39 AM

Here's some more on the two soldiers who went missing in Iraq this week, whose bodies were found Tuesday:

Pfc. Thomas Tucker thrived on adrenaline, whether he was working construction in Oregon or manning checkpoints in Iraq. His fellow soldier, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca was a quiet Texan, proud to serve in the military, who wanted to work for the U.S. Border Patrol.

As word slowly spread Tuesday that their bodies had been found in Iraq, both tortured in what an Iraqi official called a "barbaric way," their families were swept through a mix of grief, outrage, and for some, a measure of acceptance.

"Our son, as far as we're concerned, he has died for the freedom of everybody in the United States," Tucker's father, Wes Tucker, said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday.

He talked with pride about his son's enthusiasm and devotion to his work, but while he was grieving, he said he also understood that his son was a soldier in a war...

At a home in Brownsville, Texas, Menchaca's close-knit Mexican-American family gathered around his mother and remembered the 23-year-old soldier as a sweet, quiet young man.

"He talked about how happy he was that he was serving his country," said Sylvia Grice, 37, Menchaca's cousin.

"Everyone he met liked him. He had that kind of personality," Grice said. "He liked to help people. He was just the kind of person you enjoyed being with."

Jeff Emanuel, who has plenty of experience on the ground in Iraq, writes at Townhall about the odd silence of certain groups on these deaths:

An Iraqi General confirmed to the Associated Press that the soldiers’ bodies showed "signs of torture," and that the men appeared to have been killed in a particularly "barbaric" way...

Interestingly silent on this and other atrocities carried out by the insurgents in Iraq are the "human rights" groups who seem to spend every day accusing the United States of torture, war crimes, and various human rights violations...

The tide has turned in the battle to win the peace in postwar Iraq, and those who have stood on the sidelines for the past three years—or, worse, who have actively worked against the cause of freedom and democracy in that nation—are dangerously close to being remembered (if they are remembered at all) not for their support of human rights, but for their self-righteous fight against them—all in the name of their hatred of America, and of George W. Bush.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin notes Amnesty International's first comment on Tucker and Menchaca.

UPDATE 2: Stephen Spruiell has a bright side-- news of the successes of the slain soldiers' unit.