Tribute: Sgt. Major Larry Lee Strickland, US Army
That morning, he was not even supposed to be at the Pentagon. It was his day off, and a nice clear morning; he should have been off fishing, or perhaps gardening. Although he enjoyed both of these pastimes, and had an additional reason for staying away, since at the end of the month he would lose whatever leave he had not yet used, he was so dedicated to his job that he showed up anyway.
There was to be an important briefing the next day on the future of the Army, and he wanted to make sure it would go well. Even though he would soon be leaving himself, he was so concerned with the service he had dedicated himself to for so long that he voluntarily exchanged a days recreation for the chance to help it move forward. Sadly, he was not to get that chance.
That was the morning a plane slammed into the Pentagon, cutting short Larry Strickland's life and postponing the briefing he'd hoped to prepare for. Although he was a warrior who offered up his life in service to his country, he surely never expected to die in a surprise attack by civilians in the heart of his own country. Yet even though could never have forseen the circumstances, Sgt. Major Larry Strickland died for his country just as surely as if he had fallen on a battlefield defending it.
That is true, not because of the nature of the attack which took his life, and not because of any of the events or the rhetoric which followed. It is true simply because Larry Strickland was there that day, and lost his life, because of his dedication to his country, and his determination to do his best for it even in the small things. He tried that day to do everything he could for his country, and lost his life as a result. No warrior can say more than that.
I apologise to the family and friends of Sgt. Major Strickland, and to his memory. Surely he deserved better treatment from the blogger who volunteered to write his tribute. I learned that tribute had not been written late last night, and so I determined to do what I could. My tribute is not yet complete, and I will update this post when it is done, but in the meantime, I felt it was better to post at least a brief tribute in his honour. This was originally posted on September 12th at 6:20 am; I chose to set the date to 9-11 as part of my tribute.