Sunday, January 30, 2005

Today's Heroes

I admit it. This caused my eyes to well with tears. Not tears of sadness of course. Tears of joy. And pride. For the Iraqis themselves of course. But mostly for these fellows who didn't live to see it happen, but who are owed such a tremendous amount of our nation's love for what they gave up their lives accomplishing.

America bashers - both the foreign and domestic variety - like to pretend sophistication by projecting the basest motivations upon our country's leaders and troops for invading Iraq. But there remain those of us who know that what stirs the heart of our soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors is something quite different. Something that caused them to put their lives on the line to achieve this...

This is a moment to congratulate and laud the Iraqi people. But it's also a moment for Americans to beam with pride over what our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, serving in Iraq have accomplished. It is through their blood, sweat, and tears that our nation will be judged by history. And thanks to them, that judgement will be one of honor, admiration, and respect.

America has never been an imperial or predatory nation. We're liberators who - incomprehensibly to our critics - find images like the above sufficient motivation to lay down our lives.

My God am I proud of our all-to-often unfairly maligned troops today. "Hero" is an overused word, but in light of what has happened today how can one fail to use it? How can one fail to see their sacrifice as noble and worthy as that of any previous generation of heroes we honor today?

I'm reminded of the scene near the end of Saving Private Ryan, where Tom Hanks, in the midst of dying, turns to Matt Damon, whom he had just given up his life saving, and simply says, "earn this." Today the Iraqi people showed their willingness to do just that. To live and behave as free men. To earn the sacrifice of America's (and Britain's, and Australia's, and Italy's, and Poland's, etc.) fallen.

Armies have historically marched for booty or glory. These troops marched for freedom. Today they got part of their reward. And for that all Americans should share their joy.


Blogger ricardo said...

Hey Doug, thanks for this. I have printed this picture and will be leaving it at the grave of my good friend's cousin when I head out to his hometown in a couple weeks for work.

Marine Cpl. Erik H. Silva, 22, of Holtville, California.
Killed in action in Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on April 3, 2003.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderfully stated, Doug.

Anyone who is not moved by the events of the Iraqi elections must have a heart of stone.

Peg K

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, Well Said.

The Doctor

6:21 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

How do bloggers who have predicted inevitable doom in Iraq react to good news?

Eric Alterman: "I don’t have a lot to say about the Iraqi elections . . ."

Tom Tomorrow: "I don't have a lot to say about the elections right now . . ."

10:29 PM  
Blogger Army of Mom said...

Very nice, indeed. If you get a chance, go read the link of my friend Gadfly posted on my blog. He wrote a great account about the Iraqi elections. I find it amusing that the moonbats can't say anything good about it. I'm not surprised because then they'd have to admit they were wrong. This guy half-heartedly admitted he might be wrong. Might be.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

before anyone gets too optimistic, try to remember history...

New York Times in 1967...

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.
According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday.  Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

5:21 PM  

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