Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Rust in Peace
United States Secretary of Robot Relations Leads Memorial Service for Fallen Drones at San Diego's General Atomics Headquarters
"They died so that our brave men and women in the armed forced didn't have to. And for that, they have our undying gratitude."
Pictured: Downed drone in Pakistan.
SOMEPLACE YOU WON'T FIND ON GOOGLE MAPS, SAN DIEGO - United States Secretary for Robot Relations Scott McKendrick today conducted the nation's first-ever Memorial Day service in honor of the many unmanned American-made aircraft that perished in combat over the past year. "We are gathered here today to mark the passing of the thirteen Predators, three Reapers, and single Shadow, Hawk, and Sentinel Drones that crashed or were brought down during overseas operations in 2011," McKendrick told an assembled crowd of drone-assembly robots and their human troubleshooters. "These drones went where our soldiers could not, usually because we were not technically supposed to be there."
Drones, said McKendrick, are "the unsung heroes of the never-ending War on Terror. Usually, they are mentioned only when something goes wrong - embarrassing malfunctions, crashes in enemy territory, unplanned civilian deaths, that sort of thing. But for every mission that ends badly, there are hundreds, maybe thousands that go off without a hitch: drones gathering intelligence, drones neutralizing enemy targets, drones letting the world know that America is keeping an unsleeping electronic eye on things. Boots on the ground get the glory, but where would they be without drones in the sky?"
McKendrick stressed that "these heroic robot planes are not the only ones that gave their all in the service of American interests, but they are the ones that the United States Air Force has permitted me to mention."
At the end of the service, the assembly robots observed a moment of motionless silence before returning to their posts.
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