Dark Apocalypzia: Parade of the Silent Soldiers

In Memoriam
Four days after the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, and five days before the 233rd anniversary of the birth of the United States of America, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a Baghdad street as a US military vehicle drove by.

Four American soldiers were on board that vehicle. All were killed.

Their deaths represent only one thousandth of all Americans killed in Iraq since 2003.

As brave sentinels of Operation Iraqi Freedom, these four soldiers served on the battlefield dutifully fighting a war that should never have been waged -- a war cowardly declared by officials too inarticulate to offer adequate rationale for the bloody misadventure.

As far as we know, these four men never entertained audiences of millions or commandeered headlines and tweets with their antics and eccentricities.

They never learned the skill of moving backward while appearing to walk forward, or starred on a TV show, or sold thousands of pin-up posters with their beguiling smiles.

What they did do was die brutally on a street in Baghdad, forgotten by all except those who knew them, loved them and now grieve for them.

These four soldiers of the 120th Combined Arms Battalion - Wilmington, N.C., were:

Sgt. 1st Class Edward C. Kramer, 39, of Wilmington, N.C.

Sgt. Roger L. Adams Jr., 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.

Sgt. Juan C. Baldeosingh, 30, of Newport, N.C.

Spc. Robert L. Bittiker, 39, of Jacksonville, N.C.

With all the celebrity tears recently shed for the Hollywood Glitterati, we hope that at least a few are left for these fallen soldiers of the valiant 120th and for the 4,236 military men and women who preceded them in death on hot blood-soaked desert sands.