The Lion of Fallujah and Memorial Day
In honor of our troops and all who serve or have served, I would like to thank Vice President Biden for the excellent speech he gave at Arlington today. It was the most profound words I ever heard come from him, and much better than one could have asked for. In his speech VP Biden mentioned a fallen warrior, Major Douglas Zembiec, who was also called “The Lion of Fallujah”. I am posting this in his honor, but also in honor of all who serve. This young man held the highest standards of the Corps and our Military and to all who have given their all on our behalf, I give my undying gratitude.
You can find the profile / bio about this great American Hero here. I think for all intents and purposes, I will stick to citing the words from his journal that were read by his best friend at his funeral service. They speak for him and his character and the character of America’s warriors best. The following was taken from a memorial publication in pdf format that you can download from this link.
The Marine had compiled such axioms and exhortations in notebooks, excerpts of which were read aloud by a close friend, Eric L. Kapitulik, who also recounted this story:
While Zembiec was stationed at Camp Pendleton after the Fallujah campaign, his parents visited. Zembiec and his father, Don, drove onto the base to shoot skeet and were stopped at the gate by a young Marine. Are you Captain Zembiec’s father? the Marine asked. Yes, his father said. “I was with your son in Fallujah,” the Marine said. “He was my company commander. If we had to go back in there, I would follow him with a spoon.”
Kapitulik read heavily from Zembiec’s notebooks. One of the quotes was particularly long, amounting to what Kapitulik said was a summary of Zembiec himself.
“Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country.
“Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society. Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and be self-confident.
“Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions.”
Kapitulik said the creed came from the man who knew Zembiec the longest, as indicated by the major’s written description: “Principles my father taught me.”
We were truly blest to have such men in our armed forces. Thank you and God Bless you Major Zembiec.