The US Embassy in Manila has pictorial coverage of the burial last Thursday of U.S. Army Sergeant Myla L. Maravillosa, shown here being carried by an Honor Guard to the cemetery in her hometown of Inabangay, Bohol. "Sergeant Maravillosa was killed while on duty with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 301 st Military Intelligence Battalion in Hawijah, Iraq," according to the website caption on the photo at left. She was buried with full U.S. military honors, but hardly any recognition from the land of her own birth and people! She was the third Filipino-American soldier to die in combat in Iraq in the last two months, including SPC Peter Navarro last month, and gunship pilot CWO Ruel Garcia, who died just last Saturday after his Apache helicopter was shot down by Iraqi insurgents. Reportedly invited to honor the dead woman soldier, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did not attend the burial of Sgt. Maravillosa, "due to scheduling conflicts".
Yeah, like that One Woman Council of Nothing meeting today.
Well, at least there was one country that officially came to welcome Sergeant Miravillosa back home to the land of her birth and to salute her sacrifice in the fulfillment of democratic aspirations in a land far away, of a people strange and different to ourselves. Yet though they are kuffar to us and we, kuffar to them, an even stranger, mutual familiarity might be glimpsed in their common tragedies and common hopes. Filipino blood waters the purple flower that grows in Babylon. We have a stake in the survival and growth of Democratic Iraq. Filipinos and Filipino-Americans are a part of the grand vision to remake the Middle East for humanity's sake.