FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 09, 2009
Veterans Day has somber new reminder of military losses at Fort Hood
The Fort Hood shootings remain front-page news. Review an article of interest and tell what you learned or what touched your emotions the most.
Look for listings or other advance coverage of Veterans Day events in your area.
Last week's events are the topic of reader letters or forum posts, staff columns and blog entries. Find one that reflects your feelings and read a portion aloud.
As we honor surviving and fallen service members this Wednesday, the Veterans Day tributes coincide with fresh mourning and shock because of a military base shooting rampage. Flags above all federal buildings are flying at half-staff through Veterans Day in honor of 13 people, mostly soldiers, killed at Fort Hood in central Texas last Thursday by an Army major.
President Obama ordered the flag-lowering a day later to commemorate the victims. More than 30 others were wounded before the gunman was shot, not fatally. "These are the men and women we'll honor on Veterans Day," the president said in a weekend radio address. "And these are the men and women we shall honor every day, in times of war and times of peace, so long as our nation endures."
The mass shooting is blamed on Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an American-born officer who practices the Islamic faith. That focuses fresh attention on the military's growing Muslim population. Since the start of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has worked to recruit more Muslims, valued for language skills and cultural knowledge. The Texas tragedy rekindles fears that a small percentage might have extremist political beliefs or choose to turn on their comrades, as also happened in a 2003 grenade attack in Kuwait that killed two officers and wounded 14 others.
President says: "We saw [at Fort Hood] the valor, selflessness, and unity of purpose that make our servicemen and women the finest fighting force on Earth; that make the United States military the best the world has ever known; and that make all of us proud to be Americans.." -- Radio address last Saturday
Fort Hood hero: Civilian police Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, now recovering from bullet wounds, was the first to fire at the gunman. "She's absolutely a hero. She saved countless people's lives," says the base's emergency services director.
Commentator says: "Good and decent Muslims certainly serve admirably. But how does the military know which Muslims will put allegiance to country ahead of allegiance to Allah as interpreted by radical Islam?" -- Paul Sperry, author and Hoover Institution scholar
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