February 12, 2010 2:43 AM

Commentary: Military service and the black soldiers' paradox

It is the enduring paradox of our centuries here. It is the paradox that stood its ground at Bunker Hill, paradox that made a doomed charge on Fort Wagner, paradox that stormed San Juan Hill, advanced through the Meuse-Argonne, landed on Iwo Jima, liberated Seoul and was taken prisoner in Hanoi. It is the paradox: black men, will you defend America? Leave skin and blood in foreign lands fighting for ideals that do not include you?

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