I cried a lot this morning. It all started when I read this article (free registration required). America will bury 64 of her finest in the coming week. First, to the families and friends of those who died, my sincerest condolences. All of them were taken too soon.
Mr. Morel, the father of Marine Corps Captain Morel, made a very important comment that America needs to hear and comprehend.
“This war has to be fought to conclusion. It can’t be fought with velvet gloves. I do not want those men and women to die in vain. I’ll be mad if they do.”
However we got here, we are in this now and we have to finish it. At this point, this is not the United Nation’s job to finish. They weren’t willing to step up to the task in the first place. So whichever your view, the United Nations should not be asked to clean up our mess OR the United Nations should not be permitted to finish the job that we have started. Either way, it is the United State’s to lead.
My own father believes strongly in President Bush. I don’t always share my father’s faith in the President. However, I do believe that the course put forth by President Bush in his address is a good one. The American Public needs to grasp and understand the underlying goal that was so prominent in the President’s speech. “… an independent, free and secure Iraq.” The American public needs to hold the government to that goal and support the government in its efforts toward that goal. This thing will not be over soon. United States military personnel will not be withdrawing from Iraq soon. More United States military members will die in Iraq before our work is done here. It will not be easy and it will be painful. We still need to finish this.
In the same vein, the father-in-law of Marine Corps Captain Morel, Ray Mullins, made a comment that captures another important aspect of this.
“He died the way he would have wanted to die, leading his men.”
I haven’t talked to a single service member who wants to die here. There may be some but they are few. Every one of us knows and is reminded regularly that we might die here. We try not to think about it. We and our families never mention it but the majority of us know that it is part of what we signed up for. Many or even most civilians may not be able to comprehend that. It is a military thing. Do not let Marine Corps Captain Morel and all of the others who have died in Iraq die in vain. We need to finish this.
Lastly, my crying continued when my wife told me what my son said.
“I feel like I haven’t seen dad for a long time.”
Yoshi, you haven’t seen dad for a long time. Miyuki, I can only guess what your thoughts are. You are your father’s child with his tendency to think too much and bury his feelings and emotions away in the hope of hiding them. I think you probably suffer in silence.
I am proud of both my children. It is my honor to know them. They are two of the finest people I have ever had the privilge of knowing.
My wife is one of the bravest people I know. I pray that God rewards her well for her dedication to me.
All of this gush actually leads to a point. For most if not all of the 115,000 to 135,000 service members currently in the Operation Iraqi Freedom theatre there is a family and some friends somewhere trying their best to support their service member. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends. Each service member has some group of people some where that care about them, worry about them and try to find ways to support them. America, these families and friends are your responsibility. Please, take good care of our loved ones while we cannot.
Now, excuse me while I go off and experience my feminine side. I’m going to have a good cry.