How did you spend Independence Day?

Byline: | Category: Iraq, Military | Posted at: Friday, 4 July 2008

UPDATE: Video

BAGHDAD – How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Petraeus, reiterating earlier remarks made by Command Sergeant Major Hill, said that the unprecedented ceremony sends a “message to friend and foe alike.” He told those assembled that it is “impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country . . . For no bonus, no matter the size, can adequately compensate you for the contribution each of you makes as a custodian of our nation’s defenses.”

Last year Gen. Petraeus, along with Senator John McCain, presided over a similar Independence Day ceremony. Then only 588 servicemen reenlisted. This year’s event, more than twice as large, saw the equivalent of two battalions extend their service in America’s military. Nearly the entire rotunda was filled with reenlisting servicemen, their voices drowning out all other noise. For two days the military members, flown in for the occasion from all across Iraq, have toured the elaborate palace where Saddam’s sons were said to have entertained friends lavishly and tortured enemies mercilessly in the basement dungeon. Following the ceremony, they were treated to Chicago deep dish pizza donated by Lou Malnati’s Restaurant and flown fresh by DHL for the occasion.

Among those in attendance were service members from the more than two dozen Allies serving with MNF-I. Along with their American counterparts, each appeared in awe of the sacrifice of these incredible men and women. Each of the reenlistees knows full well the costs of war, and yet, they chose to stand with their units, their mission, and each other. It was as humbling an experience as I have ever witnessed. On this 4th of July, while you celebrate around grills and coolers all across America, keep in mind the 1,215 who allow us that privilege.

*Ten hours later and the YouTube video finally “processed.” Here is the link.

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53 Responses to “How did you spend Independence Day?”

  1. BobKrumm.com » Baghdad Reenlistment Says:

    [...] A report of the ceremony. [...]

  2. Happy Fourth Of July! « The Reluctant Optimist Says:

    [...] spend their time making up reasons to hate themselves for being born American. And still others, the best of us, will spend their time defending the independence and freedom we enjoy and celebrate [...]

  3. bbscan Says:

    What a great way to celebrate the birth of our freedom. Thank you

  4. LeatherPenguin » “SEMPER FI!” and “Hoo Rah!” for the Other Guys Says:

    [...] BobKrumm.com » How did you spend Independence Day? Bookmark to: [...]

  5. US Military Re-enlistment Ceremony Takes Place in Iraq « The Political Page Says:

    [...] Petraeus presided over an Independence Day Re-enlistment ceremony in Iraq.  This year’s event had more than double the number of soldiers committed to [...]

  6. Right Wing Nation » Blog Archive » Born On The Shoulders Of An Army Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm on the “largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military.” [...]

  7. Lifeofthemind Says:

    The video isn’t loading. Did Google take it down?

  8. ZEITGEIST Says:

    [...] IN BAGHDAD, CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH the largest re-enlistment ceremony in history: [...]

  9. It Doesn’t Get More Patriotic Than This « Beltway Snark Says:

    [...] Doesn’t Get More Patriotic Than This Jump to Comments I dare you to top this at your cookout: How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably [...]

  10. Happy July 4th Pinup! » Pirate’s Cove — Give No Quarter! Says:

    [...] to end it off with a big bang, just like during a fireworks display, Bob Krumm tells us what 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines did for July 4th in Iraq while we [...]

  11. Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » It Shall Be Sustained Says:

    [...] Reenlistment ceremony in Baghdad.   [...]

  12. Jeremy Says:

    I actually was in attendance of this magnificent event. Way to go troops! The pizza afterwards was awesome for lunch…and ribeye and lobster tails for dinner… almost takes you out of this place but for just a minute! Thanks everyone, and congrats to the re-enlistees

  13. Lori Morris Says:

    Thank you for covering this great event. It’s an honor to say my daughter was there and is a Marine with the HMH 462 on her second tour.

  14. Ron Hickman Says:

    Bob,
    Fantastic information. Awe inspiring! My Army Reserve unit barely missed deployment to Kuwait in late 1990. Although I am not in the military now, I still have a deep respect for those that are, and my 10-year-old son is learning that respect as well. In last night’s firework display at Nashville Shores Waterpark, my son and I stood in the wrong place to watch the action and had to stand with the flag pole directly between us and the fireworks. At first I thought that was going to be irritating, but then I realized that each colorful explosion was a backdrop to the waving American flag. We actually saw most of the fireworks through the flag. It was a very red, white and blue moment when my son tugged on my arm and said he couldn’t wait until he was old enough to go to boot camp.

    Thank you and the rest of the armed forces for doing what must be done. We’re keeping some slightly burnt toast for you.

    Ron Hickman

  15. Kendall Says:

    Apparently someone is spending July 4th banning patriotic videos like this from YouTube? Embedded video does not work and searching on YouTube finds nothing. :-(

  16. Richard Disney » 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines Reenlist for 4th of July Says:

    [...] BobKrumm.com » How did you spend Independence Day? Blogged with the Flock Browser [...]

  17. Camp Victory In Iraq, General Petraeus Presides Over 1,200 Military Re-enlistments : Stop The ACLU Says:

    [...] observer described the event, saying that service members from over two dozen allies stood in attendance for [...]

  18. Happy Independence Day! « Tai-Chi Policy Says:

    [...] Happy Independence Day! July 4, 2008 Posted by taoist in 4th of July, America, History, Independence Day, Patriotism, The United States Of America. trackback Take a moment to re-read The Declaration, and thank our wonderful troops. [...]

  19. Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » Happy Independence Day! Says:

    [...] today over a thousand men and women chose to re-enlist in Iraq, willing to sacrifice everything just as our founding fathers did: How are you spending [...]

  20. A Wonderful Independence Day, Indeed Says:

    [...] to my RSS feed. Thank you for visiting!From Power Line: In what is being described as the largest re-enlistment ceremony in the history of the American military, 1,215 servicemen and women signed up for a combined 5,500 years of additional service earlier [...]

  21. Some Soldier's Mom Says:

    humbled… I am…

  22. jOjOEofArcadia Says:

    What a great advertising idea, on Independence Day! Thank you to all of our military personnel from my location next to Naval Station Newport overlooking the Narrangansett Bay. Happy Freedom Day to all!

  23. 1215 Troops Reenlist in Baghdad » The American Mind Says:

    [...] Did You Spend Independence Day?” Save and Share: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

  24. Happy 4th of July! | curtis schweitzer (dot) net Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm, who writes: How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, [...]

  25. NS Says:

    Lori Morris,
    God Bless you, your daughter and your entire family for your sacrifice, your service towards the cause of freedom.

    I am not even American and yet I get goosebumps reading this heart warming news. No other nation has sacrificed its sons and daughters for the cause of human freedom and liberty than the United States.

    Proud to be living in America. Happy Fourth Of July every one !

  26. A Quiet Simple Life » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] the full story on the Baghdad Reenlistment in Sadaam’s former palace (so ironic), go here. It is well worth the short [...]

  27. A fitting event for the 4th of July. « PaulSwansen’s Weblog Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm Video [...]

  28. flagtag Says:

    Thank you! Without your sacrifices, we would not be the great United States of America!
    We could never thank you enough.
    I pray that every one of you come back home safe and healthy.
    God Bless You! And God Bless America!

  29. Mike Says:

    Damn, that was something else.

    HOOAH!

  30. 4th of July Reenlistment ceremony - Early Retirement Forums Says:

    [...] BAGHDAD How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq. More and the video here [...]

  31. All Atwitter » Proud To Be An American Says:

    [...] is a wonderful Independence Day story. It brought a tear to my eye for the commitment and sacrifice of these men and women. BAGHDAD – [...]

  32. Chainsaw Says:

    I spent my Independence day celebrating our sacred right, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, to overthrow, by violence if necessary, our own government if it ceases to respect the Constitution and its own laws.

    I do this by blowing stuff up. The way Americans have celebrated Independence day for many generations.

  33. Marcie Says:

    My husband was one of the soldiers at this re-enlistment. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so proud of him, and I am glad I got to see him do it. God Bless those men and woman. Happy 4th to everyone!

    Ed: No, Marcie, you’re the one to whom we owe the thanks!

  34. Happy Independence Day « Tales of the HavinsNest Says:

    [...] Independence Day Posted on July 4, 2008 by havinsnest This is just cool. Please take the two minutes to read the story of the reenlistment of 1,215 Soldiers, [...]

  35. Tina Says:

    Thank you to all the brave men and women serving our country. This video gave me goosebumps. It was awesome!!! God speed to getting you all home safe and healthy.

  36. Artie Curtis Says:

    To the men and women of the US Army who clearly love your country: I look forward to President McCain bringing you home very soon in victory and honor.
    God bless you all.

  37. blackeagle603 Says:

    OUTSTANDING! Thanks for this news BK. Thanks to all who stood up and (re)took the oath.

    Now if it in my Navy days I’d have wondered how many of them were re-upping early to get PCS’d off cruise or away from a crazy Capt Quigg skipper. ;^) …but that would diminish the moment

    God Bless America

  38. JEFFREY DORFMAN Says:

    As a disabled Vietnam Era Veteran and was in the reserves during Operation Desert Shield and Storm, I am obviously biased in my feelings and my commitment to support and defend our troops regardless of the political arena that put them in harms way. I will die defending our freedom still, if necessary, and support every one of our troops whether at home or abroad. This video of our troops reenlisting in our enemies view is so uplifting that goose bumps can’t even describe how I feel watching this. I will keep this on my hard drive as long as I can to see this over and over and when I want to show others about this country of our.
    GOD BLESS ALL OF OUR TROOPS, PAST – PRESENT AND FUTURE AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
    JEFFREY DORFMAN, U.S.N.R.RETIRED

  39. Rob Says:

    Turin

    I was alone without any contact with American people during the Indipendece day in a very sad city. I am proud to have work for you.

    God Bless America

    Rob
    Cerus Corporation

  40. The Fourth of July in Iraq « American Elephants Says:

    [...] The Fourth of July in Iraq BAGHDAD – How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq. [read more] [...]

  41. Barry Willever Says:

    I spent my day with my wife Judy and sister Joan at the Kutztown PA. Folk Festival. I talked to many Vietnam Vets and Vets from other wars. My heart goes out to these men and women who are now in the military and for the ones who re-enlisted may God Bless you all. You are the greastest. Barry Willever, Vietnam Vet.

  42. 5500 Years of Patriotism « To Be A Pilgrim Says:

    [...] 6, 2008 by Ryan A great story and video of the largest ever American reenlistment ceremony.  The video was shot Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, [...]

  43. keith Says:

    That 12 thousand dollar reup money didnt hurt. hehe Lets be real here

  44. Samantha Alice Says:

    Thank you for publishing this. My son is downrange right now. He volunteered to go. I work at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and see every day the some of consequences of our commitment to peace and liberty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It’s humbling to see the dedication of these people who know what they are getting themselves into, and yet, keep going back for more.

  45. Drive Time Happy Hour » God Bless our Troops! Says:

    [...] How did you spend Independence Day? [...]

  46. Posey, San Marcos,Texas Says:

    This gives me chills.
    Thank you so much.
    God bless our military, our veterans, our leaders.

    We have to support and love our USA.
    God bless the USA.

    I am sitting here with a tear falling on my
    cheek….what bravery,dedication, and loyalty.
    Thank you so much for giving me a lift of the heart.

  47. TDawg Says:

    OoooooooooRAH!!!

  48. Kaye Says:

    We spent the 4th with a friend of ours who is in the National Guard that my husbandgrew up with and his family. He will be deployed to Afganistan on July 11th tomorrow. We are so thankful for their friendship and his commitment to keep us safe. I once asked him why does he keep going back overseas? With no hesitation he replied “it is my honor and duty to serve my country”. He is a great man we are so thankful we can call him our friend!

  49. July 4: What the Mainstream Media (in the US and Abroad) Does Not Show You… | propellent Says:

    [...] soldiers’ disenchantment, the soldiers’ abandonment by American society, etc, etc, etc, the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the U.S. military took place in the rotunda of the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, Iraq (thanks to Christopher [...]

  50. kevin p. conway Says:

    Thank you one and all!

  51. kevin p. conway Says:

    hey Kieth, would you do it for 12 grand? Yeah, thats what I thought, lets ALL be real.

  52. Kenneth Harrison Says:

    I volinteered for the Army. I am 61 and spent 20 months in Vietnam and if I had a chance to do it over again I would, and would not hesitate to go to Iraq, I know how important it is to serve for my Country. I am proud of those who are serving now.

    Kenneth Harrison
    Vietnam Veterans Of America
    Chapter 991
    Palestine, TX.
    Never Again Will one generation of Veterans
    Abandon Another

  53. Paige Says:

    all i have to say is thank you GOD for everything you have done and you continue to do for our country and thank you to all the brave men and women that are fighting for our freedom!