Medal of Honor and A Royal Wedding

16th November 2010 was a big day for history in the western world. I do like a bit of history LIVE! A where were you when moment……so two significant moments were heralded.

The first occurred in Washington DC where Specialist Salvatore Giunta was awarded by President Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief of the US Military, the medal of honor, the HIGHEST decoration for bravery, for his courageous actions in Operation Rock Avalanche in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan 2007.

To watch the award being presented – click here

This is the first time the Medal of Honor has been awarded to a US soldier, who is still alive from either the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts, in decades.

Cornered in an L shape ambush by the insurgents, Giunta saw two of the enemy carrying the injured body of his best friend. They wanted a trophy. His friend was to be that trophy – a trophy that would have displayed, destroyed and disrespected in a medieval manner amongst their own community. (I am not going to write of insurgent attrocities – but if you want to know an example of what the insurgency does to it’s captured troops – click here)

Enraged and full of adrenaline, Giunta ran forward firing, killed one of the insurgents and injured the other. They were able to rescue the body of his best friend Sgt Brennan and bring him back to his brethren. Tragically, Brennan died. But he did not die alone and he was not a mascot of insurgent success.

Talking to Tim Hetherington, he said, ‘this is bullshit’

(See interview on http://www.restrepothemovie.com)

(For Tim Hetherington’s Vanity Fair interview – click here)

Talking to CBS, he said, ‘this is not what I want.’

(For the CBS interview click here)

(NB: The interviewers fake British accent is very off putting – it’s almost as bad as Dick van Dyke’s in Mary Poppins – sorry to be glib on this very solemn subject. The link is only half the interview so you won’t have to go through the aural adjustment that I did. It’s a British thing – we use accents to identify origins so we can then judge people.)

I want to know what does Giunta want? I can’t bear to watch anymore interviews where he is welling up with emotion. Poor guy – to re-live this trauma live on the centre stage. I want to know what does he want? He has a voice now – maybe he can speak for soldiers and we can learn if the mission is worth it through their eyes? Would Giunta go back to the Korengal Valley? Do the troops want another shot at it? Is that what they want? Or do they want us to withdraw and come home? Maybe Giunta could get his job back at Subway – is that what he wants? Brendan O’Byrne told me that he had the best and worst times of his life in the Korengal Valley, but part of him wants to go back. The worst year of his life was the next year, when he came back and he was home; alone, without his brothers-in-arms.

Operation Rock Avalanche is documented in Restrepo.

The second momentous occasion was the engagement of William, aka Wills, and Catherine, aka Kate. David Cameron was delighted. I bet, he bloody was!! Ireland is on the brink of economic collapse, everyone is skint – it’s cuts, cuts, cuts. It’s going to be the decade of discontent. This is just what the nation needs, a Royal Wedding to keep everyone thinking about dresses and drinking. Keeping their eye off the fact that we are paupers. Perfect distraction to keep the masses happy. William couldn’t have timed it better! We love a Royal Wedding. We can all have a little rally. It will bring lots of tourists in – target Australia (they are not in recession) and Asia, they aren’t as skint as us – drag some of that capital over here and we roll out the carriages for you! Let’s face it – we don’t have to hire them, as we already funding them with the taxpayers purse. How’s that for a good ROI (return-on-investment)? I do like it when the royal family give back. They are actually doing their bit for the recession.

To be honest, I am pro Royal family, especially when they sing for their supper at times like these. But he’s given her Diana’s ring.

“Beware the ides of March!!” The soothsayer within me shrieks.

I feel very uncomfortable about the ring. No good will come of that ring. It represents a loveless union. The ring is not a good omen at all. My mother died tragically when I was two. I have her single diamond engagement ring. She had tiny fingers and it has been re-sized to fit on my sausages in comparison to her chipolatas. I have worn it a few times but nothing good has ever come whenever I have worn it. I love the ring. I love owning it. I cherish it but I know I can’t wear it. Too much tragedy surrounds it, and it brings me no luck, I am afraid to say.

AND she wore a blue dress. But hey ho – we’ll see. Not that it matters anyway. I was gripped by it and I will join the nation in watching the wedding, and reading about it’s preparation – I can’t help it. I will be sucked in – it’s the oestregon in my blood. It’s not my fault – it makes me like this.

Kate and William are classic rags to riches Cinderella tale. (Today, is not the day to talk about how I feel about Cinder’fucking’rella!) As it happens, it’s not dissimilar to what’s going on with Prince Arthur and Guinevere over on BBC 1 Merlin.

I love Merlin – I have made no secret of my love for Bradley James – click here (who in my sleep deprived addled brain I keep mixing up with Bradley Walsh – big mistake – huge!!)

I can confirm that Steve, from Bloggertropolis – see his Morgasma post here and me are down on the list to visit the Merlin set, when they start filming next year. I am so excited. I get to meet my one true love (apart from Hagar, of course, oh and now, Tim Hetherington and also, while we here, Matt Damon!). What I really want to know is – does he wax his chest?

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