BY John Martich
Today I was incensed at the conclusion of a traditional Serbian-Orthodox funeral for my beloved 85 year old uncle, Daniel Martich, who proudly served in the US Army during The Korean Conflict. During the committal service at a Pittsburgh cemetery the local military detachment performed their ritual, then folded and presented the American Flag to my aunt. As I'm sure you have witnessed during military funerals, a soldier bends to one knee and recites a scripted message to a surviving relative that begins "On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation, I wish to present you with this flag in appreciation for your husband's service".
However, today the dialogue was "On behalf of the Secretary of Defense and a grateful nation...". After the service I approached the soldier who presented the flag to my aunt to inquire about the change in language. His response was "The White House notified all military funeral service detachments to immediately remove 'the President' and insert 'the Secretary of Defense'".
I couldn't believe what I heard and the soldier smiled and said "You can draw your own conclusion sir but that was the order". He, too, was ashamed of what he was required to say.
This president has taken off the gloves. My only response to this endless cesspool of Anti-American rhetoric dripping from his mouth is to borrow a phrase (with one minor change) uttered by another temporary Washington resident living in government housing: "Today for the first time in my adult life I was ASHAMED of my country". I did not serve in the military but my love of country parallels that of people like my late uncle who bled Red, White and Blue. As a second generation Serbian-American who's heritage produced many patriotic military men and women who fought for freedom both in The United States as well as in the former Yugoslavia (most recently in Kosovo against the slaughter of Serbs by Muslim extremists) I implore you to make the American people aware of this little-known or, at least, publicly acknowledged fact.
May God Bless you and your family during these difficult times. Your voice of reason is a welcome change from the insanity plastered across the country by the liberal media. Keep up the great work and thank you for your service to our country.
John G. Martich