This has been hitting the blogosphere since Sunday. CNN also broadcast a piece about it. You can watch Barbara Starr talk about unpopular wars or you can read the words of a retired Lieutenant Colonel:
From: Edwards, Lloyd, LtCol, USMC (Ret), CTR, OSD-ATL
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 12:15 PM
Subject: Fw: This Speaks volumes
I suspect General Pace would be embarrassed by any attention paid to this act of loyalty. History will debate his effectiveness as CJCS, but their is no debating his decency as a leader. I wanted to share with you what we saw in Washington DC last week.
After the mid-term brief, we toured the Mall and made the usual stops at the WWII Memorial, the Wall, Lincoln Memorial, etc. At the Vietnam Wall we saw something unbelievable. We noticed three small index cards at the base of the Wall.
I knelt down for a closer look and noticed that a 4-star general's rank was pinned to each card.
The cards were personally addressed and said something like:
These are Yours - not mine!
With Love and Respect,
Your Platoon Leader,
Pete Pace 1 Oct
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had laid down his rank for his boys who died in Nam just the day before! I later found out that 1 Oct was also the same day he stepped down as chairman.
So, Peter Pace steps down as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, heads to the Wall, and leaves his stars - the representation of his successful career - because his men are responsible for that career. And some of those men are on the Wall....
Update: This action by General (ret) Pace should not be a surprise to regulars...