Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WIth the Americans on Memorial Day in Iraq

When our US friends in theatre remember a fallen comrade, they use a custom somewhat different than our own. The US memorial service ends with a ceremonial calling of the roll, in which the dead soldier's name is called three times. This practice is hauntingly described at a service yesterday for Major Ronald Culver, an officer with the Louisiana National Guard, killed in Iraq on 2May.

Fittingly, Maj. Culver's service occured on Memorial Day, a US holiday dedicated to remembering that country's military dead. One thing that threw me in this account was the reference in the service that Maj. Culver had "gone to Fiddler's Green". I googled the term "Fiddler's Green" and discovered that it is used by US armoured units to refer to a legendary afterlife, a kind of Elysian Fields, for the souls of dead cavalrymen. Maj. Culver served in a cavalry unit. I would be curious to know if anyone has ever heard the term used in a Canadian or British armoured unit.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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