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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Thank You and Merry Christmas to Our Troops

It is early Christmas Eve morning and my house is quiet for now despite being full of family and friends. We are safe and warm, blessed and protected.

I cannot help but think of the many young men and women in the armed forces who wake up this morning in places that don't celebrate Christmas. There are not words sufficient to express the thanks I feel for these young Americans.

Peggy Noonan penned a couple of graphs in her column earlier this week, however, that come close and being of the age of those who were in college during the Viet Nam war these graphs immediately struck me:

"There's a thing a reporter told me the other day that makes me want to say thank you, too. She'd gone to interview mothers in Ohio who'd lost sons in Iraq. The mothers were as varied as their sons had been in terms of experience, personality, views. Some of the mothers were very much in support of Iraq. Some were not.
"One of those who'd come to oppose the war started to speak, in her interview, of her opposition. She faltered. A pro-war mother encouraged her. She said something like, 'We all have our right to our views, you go ahead, honey.'
"The reporter was pierced by the tenderness of it, the fairness of it, the very Americanness of it. Once again: What a country.
"One of the great and historic things about this war is that whatever you think of it, justified or not, the right decision or not, no one--no one--has decided it is right to emotionally abandon the fighters in the field.

"This, as we know, is different from what happened in Vietnam, when a generation of those who served were given in response the distanced disrespect of a certain portion of our country. Everyone feels bad about that, and should.
"But amazingly enough we seem to have learned from it. Almost everyone knows--and the very small number who don't know at least know enough to go off and be quiet--that the men and women on the field are fighting for us, serving us, that they are putting themselves in harm's way with courage, that they deserve to be patronized by no one, that they deserve honor from all."

Indeed. Merry Christmas to all.