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Ceremony in sound and pictures

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 1, 2007 at 8:41 am with No Comments »
May 1, 2007 8:41 am

My Antarctic travel buddy Ted S. Warren of the Associated Press put together an excellent audio slide show of Monday’s relinquishment of command ceremony at Fort Lewis.

That’d be the I Corps Band providing the musical accompaniment. There’s one shot in there of Col. Mike Fuller, the I Corps chief of staff who will be going to Iraq with Dubik. (The general is also taking along the corps’ top NCO, Command Sgt. Maj. Tommy Williams, and the public affairs officer, Lt. Col. Dan Williams.)

And finally, the text of the “business end” of Dubik’s farewell speech:

War was declared on this nation, and then thrust upon us on 9/11 – openly, viciously, unjustly. Our enemies have as their goal the demise of this nation’s influence, and way of life.

Our enemies, though not a nation-state, have the organization, the weaponry, the finances, the skill, the will to win. They’re smart, they’re cunning, they’re adaptive and they possess a long-term view about the war they initiated.

They have a publicly published campaign plan and they’re executing that campaign plan.

They seek to reestablish the base that they had in Afghanistan. They seek to expland their control in the Middle East an area of vital importance to our economy and the way we live our lives. They seek to expand into Southeast Asia, to north Africa, to Europe and beyond. You can read the newspaper and see that they are hard at work.

Further, they believe that they are strong enough and we are weak enough that they will prevail. They are very flexible as to the sequence, the method and the timing of attaining their goal. But they are not flexible as to the firmness of their commitment to win.

They have chosen a style of warfare that is as vicious in its attacks on and murder of innocent life as it is creative. They have no conventional trappings of an army. They fight in the gap between combatant and criminal activities.

But make no mistake about it, this is a war. Our enemies have political aims. They are using organized, armed violence to attain those aims – the classic definition of war.

And also make no mistake that their political aims intend to do significant harm, long-term harm, to this nation and our citizens.

And today we fight these enemies with soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines that were 3, 4, 5 and 6 years old at the end of the last gulf war. As a nation we ought to be willing to end this war so the next generation of 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds are not fighting a larger, more complex and more difficult war, a war that we left behind to them.

I’ve seen the determination to win in all the eyes of the soldiers and family members that have deployed from Fort Lewis and redeployed, and felt it in the arms of grieving family members at every memorial service.

And sharon and I leave Fort Lewis equally determined to do our part as so many Army families have before us.

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