November 23, 2010

Trail of Two War Medals

An interesting juxtaposition. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, receives applause from the traders at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday while Joe Glenton, who served with the Royal Logistic Corps and served six months in a military prison for going AWOL, returned his campaign medal in protest last Friday to Ten Downing Street.
I’m especially drawn to the two seats of power, and how much the Stock Exchange (like the American sports stadium) has become a primary platform for celebrating our warriors — cultural commodities and impermanent icons that they are.  I was also wondering what would happen if Glenton was American and tried to make a similar delivery to the White House … and if we would ever hear about it.   (By the way, check out the Glenton/10 Downing Street slideshow where he actually takes care of business at the door.)

(photo #1: Seth Wenig/AP. #2: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe)

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Michael Shaw
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