The Commencement Address Given To The Graduates of GWSU
Presented exclusively to the readers of Rumor Mill News, the following is an address to the graduates of Gulf War Syndrome University, some 7,400 or more in number --
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, I rise on this cloudy and windy day to deliver what in other times was once known as a "valedictory address." More commonly known now as a commencement address, I find this honor to be both ennobling and definitively humbling in its nature. The savviest among you will recognize, at once, that I did not add "distinguished guests or faculty," in my opening line. There are no distinguished guests here, today and no learned scholars either, no political leaders or hopefuls for a presidential primary season. They are not here for one simple reason: you, the graduates of GWSU, are all dead.
Yes, you are the fallen heroes and heroines of the First Gulf War, fought in late 1990 and early 1991, against the forces of Arab National Socialism as arrayed by Iraq against its Arab neighbor, the Emirate of Kuwait. Even though my words will not be heard, today, by mortal ears -- the wind which brings freshets of rain to these green hills will carry them to you -- for you soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines now dwell in The House of Spirits, which is always open to the four winds.
Indeed, your souls may be as restless as the wind which whistles through the Arizona canyons, or as placid as the breeze which ruffles the sails of boats on the Chesapeake. There are those among you who know, now, that you died in vain -- for the sicknesses gathered under the banner of Gulf War Syndrome continue to claim victims even as the Second Gulf War rages.