I must write this in a highly emotional state, so please forgive me if I overstep my bounds.
Watching Nightline tonight to hear the reading of the names and to see the pictures of those who have died in the war in Iraq was something I had a great deal of trouble handling. Through much of it I cried, genuine tears that still stain my face, and often I needed to grab hold of something to hold myself steady.
These are people, and they MUST be noted as people and not just numbers and statistics. These were people who had families, who had people who loved them, who had children who will now grow up never knowing them. These are people who are gone from this place, who are now remembered only in memories and stories that their friends and loved ones will tell for many years to come. These are people who may have been your friend, your brother, your sister, your father, your mother. They are GONE.
You MUST consider this. You cannot deny it. People may sacrifice themselves for a cause, for a reason, for something that means something. If you believe this war means something, then you may be at greater peace with their passing than I am. I mourn all of them. I cry for all of them. I pray for all of them. I wish them all safe passage and clear skies. I will not listen to anyone who mocks or derides these people and the sacrifice they made. I am a man of peace, a man of love, but I will have great trouble holding back from resorting to darkness and striking you if you dare to belittle these people.
If you can look at the roll call of those who have fallen and died for this cause and believe that their sacrifice was made for good reasons, more power to you. I remember when I was in high school. I remember the people who decided to go into the military, feeling they could get a good job, a college education and defend their country at the same time. There were those who were just looking for a fight, but most were looking to do something that mattered. They wanted to make a difference and felt going into the military would give them that. They believed. They were good people. Some of them were friends of mine. Some of them were people I looked up to. My first girlfriend went into the Air Force and continues to serve as an NCO in Air Force Intelligence.
I know and love people in the military. A very good friend of mine is a Navy fighter pilot. I haven't heard from him in two years, but I know he is over there. I have nothing but love, respect and compassion for those in service.
As Ted Koppel said, this wasn't a political statement. This was just reality, and it was respect. These people deserved to be honored for their sacrifice, whether it was for a reason or if they were just misguided and used. Most of them believed they were doing the right thing. They were doing their job. Give them your love and compassion, regardless of where you stand. They are DEAD. If you don't understand what that means, it means THEY ARE NO LONGER HERE. They can't see their children, their parents, their spouses, their friends. They are GONE. You are still here. Honor the dead, wherever you stand, because for them this story is over. For us, it will continue.
Give them a little bit of your time: