"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Nov. 06, 2004) -- Amid the thunder of artillery and weapons fire, pipers are heard around Camp Fallujah blaring melodies from their age-old Celtic instruments.
Every day Lt. Col. Paul Sweeney, judge advocate lawyer, and Sgt. Steven Ammer, motor transportation specialist, hone their piping skills, unknowingly raising spirits as their tunes float on the wind to fellow Marines throughout the base.
But Ammer and Sweeney aren’t the first Marines to pick up the bagpipes to play in a war zone. Several Marine pipers played during the bloody Battle of Peleliu. A Marine lieutenant was observed piping his amphibian tractor ashore on Iwo Jima. In Korea, Sgt. F.H. "Timmy" Killeen piped for his company of the 7th Marines during the numerous Inchon-Seoul night firefights.
John Cahill has more on Black Watch piping at Fallujah (Nov. 9). The Innkeeper also likely will appreciate this account of Her Majesty the Queen learning the answer to the age-old question about Highlanders and their kilts.
Some of my parents' good friends were men from Boston who served with the Marines in the South Pacific before coming back home to lead their lives and raise their families. There were passing, matter-of-fact mentions of what that service had entailed – flamethrowers and no Japanese prisoners taken – but growing up at a time when it was just a given that everyone's father had served during World War II or Korea, I never appreciated what many of those men had gone through.