Monday, May 28, 2007

In Memoriam

Today’s front page calls on readers to remember the fallen and tells us that to date 3,839 U.S. service members have died and lists the 72 Missourians who are on that list.

Their imprecation is certainly proper. We must remember those who have given their lives in this war. We must remember that their patriotism was so strong that it called them to risk their lives for their country; for that is what they believed, and that belief is worthy of remembrance.

We must remember that these people were the kind of folks who thought about others. In the face of what they saw as the risk terrorism poses to their friends and relatives, they were the ones who were willing to put their lives on the line to protect them. For this, they deserve our unending admiration and respect, and their deaths rightfully cause us grief and sorrow.

There can be no doubt that this kind of altruism is the highest calling of duty to one’s own kind. There can also be no doubt that the call to make that sacrifice is one that should never be made except in the most demanding circumstances. No one should be asked to lay down his life for his country unless that country is under imminent threat. No one should be asked to fight under the flag of any country unless that country’s future and freedom of its people are threatened.

No one carries a heavier sin to his grave than a leader who would ask his countrymen to die on false premises, and that is exactly what the leadership of America has done. The fact that they did this makes the grief we feel for those who gave the last full measure even deeper for those of us left to remember. The fact that they did this should not be forgotten or go unmentioned either. If Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney can sleep well at night, it is because they have no regard at all for those whose lives their political wills have taken.

By all means, give some time today to the memory of those who have died in the belief that they were protecting us. Tomorrow, though, give some time to the effort to remove those responsible from the positions that enabled them to do this to our soldiers.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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