Friday, April 20, 2007

American Pride

President Bush came to East Grand Rapids High School recently for a speech on foreign policy. I have been thinking about our men and women in Iraq a lot lately. (If you haven't caught the PBS specials "America at a Crossroads", you need to check it out.)

Even for Bush-supporting Republicans like me, it is difficult to know if we are doing the right things for Iraq. "Stay the course, get out now, another Vietnam, finish the job." A lot of conflicting information and the media's doom and gloom reporting makes it confusing to know what is right and what is wrong. Top that with an Iraqy army / police force that is confused about its own moral ties and you have a big mess. How do you begin to re-program thousands of years of religious beliefs?

I don't know what the morale of our soldiers is like over there. In fact, most days I think the American public forgets that there is a war. We hear the 2 minute blurb on the news of how many people were killed by a suicide bomb today, and then we go on with our "morning coffee, get to work, running the kids around, why did Britney Spears cut her hair" days. The American public needs a call to action - and not from the likes of Hillary Clinton - who seems to have forgotten that she too thought there were weapons of mass distruction.

I also came across a touching photo and article and have attached it below for you to read. Seems that some people know why we are there.

Heroes Call

This amazing picture has drawn a lot of comments from readers of the Nashville paper, The Tennessean. See Jay's letter below.

Dear Tennessean:
The Tennessean’s April 5 photograph of young Christian Golczynski accepting the American flag from Marine Lt. Col. Ric Thompson is one of the most moving and emotion provoking images I have ever seen.

I attended funeral services for Christian's father, Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski, on April 4, along with my six year-old son, dozens of Marines, and several hundred others who came to pay tribute to this fallen hero. As one would expect, many of your readers were touched by this incredible picture.

On April 9 you published two letters from those who have used this image as a basis to criticicize President Bush and the war in Iraq. These writers should know that Staff Sergeant Golczynski had previously served one full tour in Iraq. He wrote to his family, shortly before his death on March 27, that he had volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started. We fight and sometimes die so our families don't have to.

Tragically, Staff Sergeant Golczynski had only two weeks remaining on his second tour. I look at the photograph of Christian every day. It is displayed prominently in our home. Our hearts ache for Christian and for all those who have lost loved ones in this controversial conflict. Our nation is at a historical crossroads. Do we call an end to the struggle in Iraq or press on? Staff Sergeant Golczynski eloquently told his son how he felt about giving up.

Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us in this man's life and the choices he made. He was undeniably a man of tremendous courage and conviction. America must now choose whether to complete the job. When I look at the face of Christian Golczynski, I am reminded that doing what is right is not always easy and doing what is easy is not always right. Christian's dad knew that too.

James Drescher, Franklin TN

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