Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Some Things are Best Left Alone

There is so much rich history to Dog Tags...
At the American Civil War battle of Cold Harbor in 1864, before Union troops made a frontal assault on Confederate trenches, they wrote their names on pieces of paper and pinned them to their uniforms.. They did not want to be forgotten.
During the Spanish American War, Chaplain Charles E Pierce believed the identity of war dead should be practiced on a more scientific basis. He suggested a central collection agency where mortuary records would be gathered, and the addition of an "Identity Disk" in every Soldier's combat field kit. This "Identity Disk," in 1899,is considered the first institutionalized identification tag.
U-S troops were issued identification tags en masse in 1908 and the tags have been a required part of the uniform ever since.
The nickname for the ID tag was first coined by William Randolph Hearst who printed unfavorable stories about the New Deal and President Roosevelt in 1936. Having heard the Social Security Administration was considering the use of a nameplate for personal identification, Hearst called it a "Dog Tag". Recently, the U.S. Army stopped using the term "Dog tags", replacing it with "I.D tags".
The dog tag is a daily reminder that in the professions of arms, to be forgotten is the cruelest fate. The dog tag is more than 100 years old, and this little piece of metal connects us to those slain defenders. To each it might mean something different, but to the millions of service members, past and present who were required to wear one, the Dog Tag is a symbol of service and personal sacrifice. Most importantly, it is a reminder of the possibility of the ultimate sacrifice.
These small pieces of metal hanging from the neck of every servicemember are intended to help identify remains of the fallen and have been a uniform requirement since World War I. Science has come a long way since then and future identification system just might render them obsolete, but the name, image, and personal connection many feel to their tags go beyond their simple, primary purpose.
Thanks to "Pray For Our Soldiers" bulletin for this rich history lesson.

In this ever-changing, high-tech world we live in... aren't some things best left alone?

We must never forget!


Michelle said...

Ok, I just read some of your older blogs and see that your son is at Wright Patterson. Shay is there until Sep 23rd when she FINALLY graduates from her Tech School. She has been in Tech School since July 2007. Starting at Shepperd and then to Wright Patt in Jan. I am going there on Sep 21st to attend graduation and then drive with her to Florida where she will do RAP and a little R&R. Lea might be coming down to hang with me. What bldg is he in? Shay is in 1212. Maybe they should meet.

Tonjia said...

I agree with you, some things should just be left alone..

I have my dads dog tags from WWII when he was in the Air Force. I cherish them.