Monday, August 15, 2005

Other ways to grieve 

Maureen Dowd: "The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

But apparently only if they also become mouthpieces for the angry left.

So how about the absolute moral authority of Lynn Kelly, Maureen?
"I don't agree" with Sheehan's views, said Lynn Kelly of Pitman, whose son, Marine Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq in January.

"I wouldn't say, 'Bush, you killed my son.' I don't agree with that," said Kelly.

"I think we had to do something and I believe that ultimately, I was one of the few that had to make the ultimate sacrifice, which isn't fair, in my eyes," she said.

"But I don't believe that Mr. Bush was the one that pulled the trigger," said Kelly.
Or Linda Ryan:
Marine Cpl. Marc T. Ryan, of Gloucester City, was killed in an explosion in Ramadi, Iraq in November.

"I would tell Cindy Sheehan that, as one mother to another, I do realize your loss is your loss and there's nothing you can do to heal from it," said the corporal's mother, Linda Ryan.

"George Bush didn't kill her son, it's the evildoers who have no value of life who killed her son. Her son made a decision to join the Armed Forces and defend our country, knowing that, at any time, war could come about," Ryan said.

She said she's been on the end of those kinds of conversations several times. Recently, when she took her dog in for medical treatment, the veterinarian, despite seeing Ryan's memory bracelet and the necklace bearing a portrait of her son, started telling her how much she hates George Bush.

"I've decided I'm just going to say, 'I realize you have your opinions, but it aches me, it's heart-wrenching for me'," said Ryan.

"George Bush was my son's commander-in-chief. My son, Marc, totally believed in what he was doing," she said.
Or Thomas Zapp:
Among those attending the pro-Bush rally was Thomas Zapp, of Richmond, Texas, whose 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. T.J. Zapp, was killed by a bomb in Iraq on Nov. 8, 2004.

Zapp said that it was unfair for Sheehan to demand a second meeting with the president when many parents of slain GIs, like himself, have not even had a single meeting.

"I have not met with President Bush," he told the Tribune-Herald. "Why should she get to meet with President Bush again?"

"I firmly believe our president is sincere with what we have to do and I believe that he's under enormous pressure and he's doing the best he can. I'm here to support him," Zapp added.
Or Jim Boskovitch:
A bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" as city and religious leaders paid tribute in Cleveland today to the 16 Ohio Marines killed in Iraq in the past week.

Hundreds of people turned out for the downtown vigil over the lunch hour.

Jim Boskovitch is the father of Corporal Jeff Boskovitch, one of five Marine snipers killed on Monday [8 August]. He says his family came to the vigil to support the troops still in Iraq.
Or Robert Hoffman:
Motorcycles roared their engines Saturday to herald the funeral procession of Marine Sgt. Justin Hoffman, one of 14 Marines killed last week in the deadliest roadside bombing since U.S. troops invaded Iraq...

"'Freedom is not free' is a phrase we hear every day, but few of us understand what it means," Robert Hoffman said Saturday at his son's funeral in Powell, another Columbus suburb. "Justin and the Lima Company understood. They gave up their lives for it."
Or James and William McNaughton:
In a day of extraordinary pageantry and sadness, the funeral in Lake Ronkonkoma for James McNaughton - an Army reservist and New York City police officer killed in Iraq - was marked by thousands...…

McNaughton's uncle, James McNaughton - the man for whom the fallen soldier was named - stood at the lectern to describe the code by which his nephew and godson lived, which he called "the ideal of the gentleman warrior."

"They deserve our grateful respect," McNaughton said. "They are our modern samurai."

At the close of the service, the soldier's father, William McNaughton, stood beside his son's coffin and offered a brief eulogy and thank-you to the congregation.

"Most people don't know what the word samurai means. It means to serve," he said. "He's been serving his whole life. He's been carrying a gun since he was 18."
Or Kelly Matias:
Lance Cpl. Evenor C. Herrera adopted the United States as his country and Wednesday perished while serving it.

"He was very proud to be in the Marines," cousin Kelly Matias said. "He adopted this country as his own. He was willing to die for the peace here."
These stories, by the way, are just from the past two days.

As I wrote yesterday, "The only thing exceptional about Cindy Sheehan is how exceptional she is. I've been following the Iraq-related news coverage for quite some time now, and - not surprisingly - in an overwhelming majority of cases the parents and families of the servicemen and women who died in Iraq (and Afghanistan) choose to grieve in private. Of those who make any sort of political comments, most are proud of their son's or daughter's service and the enterprise they were part of."

Kos and the rest of the left think that exploiting Cindy Sheehan's exploitation of her loss is the best new secret weapon in the war against George Bush. But both sides can play the "grieving parents" game -– except that it's not a game, and it shouldn't be played. The right has not used people like Lynn Kelly, Linda Ryan, or hundreds of others, to make their case in our current war. It would be decent if the left stopped using Cindy Sheehan to make theirs.


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