Posts Tagged ‘honor’

Obama, I Demand You Apologize To George Bush And Dick Cheney For Your Lies And Demagoguery

April 4, 2011

Today we had Obama sucking the sewer scum with his crazy straw in a different way.

Barack Obama is a serial liar, and the only time he isn’t lying is if he says he’s lying.

Today we find out officially that Obama is backpedeling on two lies: one to close Guantanamo Bay, and the other to try the worst terrorists in civilian court.  As the LA Times reports via the AP:

Professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators are being referred to the system of military commissions for trial, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

The decision by the Obama administration is an about-face from earlier plans to have the five go on trial in civilian federal court in New York.

You know that Obama is going to go back on his promises.  That’s what liars do.  Obama is the type of slimeball who first broke his word to serve his Senate term, and then broke his promise to use public campaign financing if his Republican opponent did so.  Anyone but a fool should have known the man is a lying weasel on his noblest day.  But what you hope is that he will now keep breaking his stupidest and most despicable promises.

I pointed out the blatant reality that was readily obvious to anyone but the worst of fools nearly a full year ago:

Renditions? Obama got his butt kicked.  Eavesdropping programs? Obama got his butt kicked.  Patriot Act? Obama got his butt kicked.  Gitmo? Obama got his butt kicked.  Surge strategy? Obama got his butt kicked.  Iraq War? Obama got his butt kicked.  Iranian nuclear threat? Obama got his butt kicked.  That sort of thing.

You stupid, arrogant poodle, Obama.  You’d be completely ashamed of yourself if you weren’t such an arrogant narcissist.

Again and again, on issue after issue, Obama demagogued and demonized Bush policies on the campaign trail.  But when it came time to put up or shut up, and actually DO something, Obama’s “poodle policies” ended up on their back with Bush policy fangs around their throat.

And now we see it yet again.  Military Tribunals?  Another Obama butt kicking…”

But just when you think Obama has finally accepted reality, the idiot climbs back on his winged unicorn and flies off in another cloud of magic fairy dust.

By finally relenting – after 17 months of wasted time and God only knows how many millions of dollars spent fighting reality – to try the terrorists at Gitmo, Obama is acknowledging that Guantanamo Bay will not be closed as long as his loathsome character pollutes the White House.

Here’s the worst of it.  Obama cowardly and despicably went overseas and demonized his predecessor for his atrocities such as Gitmo and trying terrorists in military tribunals.  The contemptible rat bastard-in-chief even said he would consider holding Bush criminally responsible.  And now Obama will be embracing the very “atrocities” that he himself personally demonized.

The left has been saying that Gitmo and military tribunals would give al Qaeda ammunition for recruiting terrorists.  Riddle me this: how much more will they gain ammunition by replaying the very words of Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder as saying Gitmo and military tribunals were immoral?!?!??

I like the way Lyflines puts it:

Reality squashes yet another Democrat storyline…

Do you remember how the left demonized George W. Bush for eight years? Remember how he was trampling all over the Constitution with his military tribunals? Remember how Guantanamo was a scourge upon the face of humanity, a veritable second Auschwitz? Remember how Obama was going to close Guantanamo within his first year in office? Remember the “fierce moral urgency of change?”

Yeah, never mind…

Here’s one typical example of Obama being the cynical lying fool that he is.  After wrapping himself in the Constitution and the principles of our founders (both of which he has actually in fact mocked in a way that George Bush NEVER would have) – And I also can’t help but think of the many Democrats who have openly mocked our founding fathers, our Constitution and the conservatives’ love of both – Obama went on to say:

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.  Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law.  In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law — a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected.  Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause.  Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear:  Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security.  It is a rallying cry for our enemies.  It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries.  By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it.  That’s why I argued that it should be closed throughout my campaign, and that is why I ordered it closed within one year.

Now, you vile liberals, you explain to me how al Qaeda will not be playing Barack Obama’s and Eric Holder’s speeches and saying, “You see?  America is evil even by its very own president’s and attorney general’s standards.”

And the only thing that makes America evil is that we voted for a truly evil man to be our president.  Not to mention an illegetimate imposter who should not even be regarded as a legitimate citizen at this point.

Dick Cheney has repeatedly said that Obama couldn’t be more naive or more wrong and that he would ultimately be forced to abandon his immoral positions on both Gitmo and the military tribunals.

You owe George Bush and Dick Cheney a personal apology.  When Dick Cheney stood up to your lies and denounced your terrible policies, he rightly confronted you on the very issues that you just backed down from today in an implicit acknowledgment that he was right and you were totally wrong.  And if you had so much as a single shred of personal honor or decency, you would offer that apology.

The fact that you DON’T have any honor or decency is why we can know that you won’t bother.

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Thinking Of The 9/11 Tragedy. With Pride.

September 11, 2010

It’s been nine years.  But most Americans remember where they were when they first learned that a hijacked passenger jumbo jet had just slammed into the World Trade Center.

We also remember how we felt: the incomprehension, the shock, the fear and the anger.

A few moments stand out for me that give me pride to this day.

The Events That Took Place In the Skies Above Pennsylvania:

United Airlines flight 93 was a Boeing 757 on a morning Newark-to-San Francisco route. On 11 Sep 2001 the plane was hijacked by a four man hijacking team. Evidence suggests that the hijacking was apparently thwarted by the efforts of the plane’s passengers and flight attendants. The plane crashed southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The plan  was carrying 37 passengers and 7 crew members. There were no survivors.  Todd Beamer, a passenger, tried to place a credit card call but was routed to a customer service representative instead, who passed him on to supervisor Lisa Jefferson. She called the FBI. Beamer reported that one passenger was dead.  He asked if together they could pray the Lord’s prayer, which they did.  Later, he told the operator that some of the plane’s passengers were planning “to jump” the hijackers. The last words Ms. Jefferson heard from the plane were “Are you ready guys? Let’s roll.”  The plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 AM, killing all aboard.  It is believed that this aircraft was intended to be crashed into the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, Congress was in session at the time.

A shiver goes up my spine every time I try to visualize the raw courage of Todd Beamer and the beyond-heroic men and women who assisted him in taking back the plane so that it could not be used as a weapon against other Americans.  Even as they likely knew that they would surely die themselves.

I think particularly of Todd Beamer asking to pray with an operator whom he would never see in this life, and afterward that operator being able to recollect his last words, spoken to other passengers: “Are you ready guys?  Let’s roll.”

I feel pride.  and I pray, and hope, that I would have been like those heroes had I been on board that flight.

The Events Of The 343 Firefighters, Paramedics, And Police Officers:

As thousands of workers in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center desperately fled down the stairs, there were heroes laboring their way up carrying their heavy gear.  Laboring up floor after floor, trying to make their way up to render aid when everyone around them was trying to make their way to safety.

Few if any of those men knew that they were climbing to their deaths.  But you know what?  I have a feeling that many of them would have kept on climbing even if they did know.  It was just who they were.

And on this day, I honor them.  And I’m proud of their sacrifice.

The Events On The Top Floors Of The World Trade Center:

One of the most vivid images in my mind was the footage of people in the top floors of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center throwing themselves out of windows to their deaths to escape the raging inferno within that dying skyscraper.  We can only imagine their horrific and terrorized desperation in facing the nightmare choice of a certain death by fire, or a certain death by fall.

In the months afterward, I watched a program putting these events into a spiritual context.  If my memory serves, it was R.C. Sproul who had the made the most memorable impression in my soul.

He spoke of 9/11 representing both the greatest evil and the greatest good in the world, of the evil of the terrorists, and of the love exhibited by those who perished as a result of their evil.

He described how he imagined the final moments of those who had been in the top floors, unable to escape the inferno.  He focused on the image of many of those who threw themselves out of the building: how they leaped to their deaths holding hands with their fellow workers.

I can imagine a crying, terrorized secretary, afraid to jump, but even more terrified of the terrible heat and smoke, and the approaching roaring flames.  And I imagine someone telling her, “Come with me.  Hold my hand.  We’ll go together.”

And amidst all that evil, they leaped.  Holding hands.

What love.

The image brings tears of sorrow, that so many such anonymous, but such wonderful, people, died that day.  But it also brings pride.

What would you do in that situation?  I hope if I had to go out like that, someone would be holding my hand.

The Events Of The President’s Visit To The Ground Zero Site:

Another vivid memory for me was President George Bush’s so-called “bullhorn moment” on September 14, 2001 as he visited Ground Zero following the attack.

I had joined my brother and his family and my parents in a restaurant which had a giant screen television.  And that’s where I saw Bush step up – literally – and say a very few, but now very famous, words:

As described by eyewitness and participant Karl Rove, who documented the scene in his book, Courage and Consequence:

Bush was hearing and seeing the rescue workers up close.  They were not shy about sharing their feelings.  These men were working on adrenaline and passion and, after three days and increasingly less frequent good news about survivors, they were nearly spent.  Pataki was right; the presidential visit was energizing for many of the people we met.  Bush later told me what he felt from the workers was deep, almost overwhelming anger, even hatred. […]

There was a tug on my sleave.  It was Nina Bishop, a White House advance woman working the event.  She pointed to the chanting workers and said, “They want to hear from their president.”  No one had prepared remarks, but she was exactly right…

I pointed at the battered fire truck.  Andy [Card] made a beeline to the president.  Nina had commandeered a bullhorn from a man who worked for Con Ed and met me at the fire truck with it.  The bullhorn’s batteries weren’t that good, but it was all we had…

The president took the bullhorn and reached his hand up to the rescue worker, a retired sixty-nine-year-old firefighter named Bob Beckwith.  Beckwith looked down into the scrum below him, saw the outstretched hand, grasped, and pulled.  In an instant, Bush was sharing the top of the truck with Beckwith, who suddenly realized he’d helped up the president of the United States.  Beckwith tried to crawl down but the president asked, “Where are you going?”  Bob said he was getting down.  Bush said, “No, no, you stay right here.”

The cheers and chanting subsided and the president started to speak into the bullhorn.  With the National Cathedral prayer service still fresh on his mind, Bush began by saying, “I want you all to know that America today is on bended knee in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn.  This nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens.”  Someone yelled, “Go get ’em, George!”  Someone else yelled, “George, we can’t hear you!” and others echoed this complaint.  Bush paused and then responded in a voice now fully magnified by the bullhorn, “I can hear you.”  The crowd went nuts – and he knew what to do from there.  “The rest of the world hears you,” he went on, “and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”  The crowd broke into defiant, even bitter, chants of “U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!”  Bush handed the bullhorn off and he climbed down.

In an iconic moment, George Bush was very much alone with an enormous responsibility.  The nation wanted reassurance; it wanted to know it had a leader who understood the mission America now faced.  No speechwriters, no aides, no advisers were involved in Bush’s response.  It was an authentic moment that connected with the public in a strong, deep way.  Without assistance and in an instant, George Bush gave voice to America’s desires.

Seeing President Bush hop up on that busted truck and stand shoulder to shoulder with a weary firefighter is a sight forever etched in my mind, and for many it remains one of the most inspiring scenes from the terrible events of 9/11.  Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley’s assessment of Bush’s visit to Ground Zero was prophetic: “We can’t just judge him as President Bush anymore, but we’re going to soon be judging him as commander-in-chief.”

Karl Rove, Courage and Consequence, pp 277-279

President George Bush was at his finest moment when the country needed him the most.

The Events Of Our Very Greatest Americans: The Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipients:

Our soldiers are all heroes, these days.  You don’t volunteer to serve in today’s military without realizing that you may very well be called upon to serve in a combat zone.  And with terrorism and the tactics used by terrorist fighters, anyone can suddenly find himself or herself on the front lines.

I’ve marveled at our soldiers and Marines since the first footage showed them ready to go into battle.  And from those first days to the present, they have been magnificent.

I am so proud of them, so proud of what they have accomplished, and so proud that these incredible men and women wear the flag that I cherish.

I obviously can’t name them all, and tell all of their stories.  But here are the stories of the greatest of the great: our Congressional Medal of Honor recipients:

  • Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade (Airborne), US Army
  • Robert James Miller, Staff Sergeant, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), US Army
  • Jared C. Monti, Sgt 1st Class, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 10th Mountain Division, US Army
  • Michael P. Murphy, Lieutenant, Alpha Platoon, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE (SDVT-1), US Navy
  • Jason Dunham, Corporal, 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, USMC
  • Ross A. McGinnis, Specialist,1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, US Army
  • Paul R. Smith, Sgt 1st Class, B Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, US Army

These men, in receiving this the highest award for valor, have transcended themselves, and rightly epitomize the greatest attributes of not just soldiers, sailors, and Marines, but of human beings.  I think of the words of Jesus, “Greater love has no one than this, than that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

On this 9/11, I remember that the United States was attacked by men who had murdered their very own humanity in the name of a rabid religious ideology before they murdered nearly 3,000 Americans.  I remember that we are at war, whether all of us recognize it or not.  And I remember that we must hold the same steely resolve to fight against an adversary who practices no rules, has no compassion, and stops at no moral or rational limits.

But most of all, I remember the men and women who gave us the greatest possible example of love, of courage, of sacrifice, and of both the human and American spirit.

And I’m proud to be an American, because I am surrounded by such a cloud of magnificent heroes.

Thank you, Lord, for producing these magnificent men and women.

And Lord, please make more of them and keep them coming.  For we surely need others like them.

Are Tributes to Fallen Soldiers “Clutter”?

July 21, 2008

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t like “clutter” in her halls:

Some members of Congress have been told that they have to get rid of their tributes to fallen soldiers, because they are cluttering the halls.

Congressional Quarterly reports that a group of lawmakers — headed by Republican Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina — is imploring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to change a new policy that bars free-standing flags, furniture and easels because they are considered hazards.

Jones has easels outside his office depicting the faces of constituents killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, like many of his colleagues, he has been told that he must get rid of the display by August 2. Jones says, “We’re going to just have an ongoing contest of me putting them up and them taking them down.”

What can I say?  There are clearly two worldviews clashing in Congress, and two very different attitudes toward our fallen soldiers.

I have no doubt that dozens have been seriously injured dodging all those tributes in the halls.  Maybe Speaker Pelosi could spend the rest of her term in the relative safety of Iraq or Afghanistan where there isn’t so much hazardous “clutter”?

Personally, I’m firmly on the side of Republican Congressman Walter Jones in this dispute in wanting to honor our fallen heroes every way we can – and most definitely in NOT considering the tributes honoring them as “clutter.”

I hope you are, too.

Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect on the Big Picture

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day and Christmas have one thing in common: both holidays celebrate giving. Christmas celebrates God’s gift of salvation in the birth of Christ; and Memorial Day celebrates the gift of freedom by men who secured it with their lives and their blood.

Neither divine grace nor political freedom is “free.” Both have been provided for us at great cost.

And whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, I hope you took time to contemplate the image of the rows of crosses marking the graves of our fallen warriors. We owe such men – as well as the warriors who survived the battle – a debt that we can never repay.

There is a saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” I’m sure there have been some atheists in some foxholes at one time or another, but the real point of this bit of folk wisdom is that one tends to pay attention to the Big Picture when one’s life is on the line. When you know you could be blown to bits at any moment, the question as to whether there is a heaven and a hell suddenly becomes more than simple abstract speculation.

To that end, let me talk about the faith that drives men to acts of greatness. I’m not talking about faith in God (although that helps a LOT); I’m talking about faith in a better world, and faith that one’s personal sacrifices can help create that better world.

Faith gets ridiculed in today’s cynical society (e.g. “faith vs. religion,” where the latter is meaningful and the former trivial). And the faith of religious people is all too often dismissed as some kind of enabler for weak minds (e.g. “Religion is the opiate of the masses”; “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion…”) to continue living their simpleminded, idiotic lives.

But it occurs to me that faith is as essential to our democracy as it is to the our religion.

And it occurs to me that the life of faith is not an easy one.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Cynics and skeptics think of faith as belief in things that don’t exist, but this is by no means true.

Rather, it is confidence in principles, ideas, and truths that are there even if we can’t see them immediately before us.

Our forefathers, who established what would become the greatest nation in the history of the world were religious Pilgrims, seeking to build their vision in a strange land. The first years were difficult; so many died that the captain pleaded with them to abandon their quest and return to England. But their faith in what they believed was their divinely appointed destiny gave them the courage and the motivation to endure hardship and death.

Our founding fathers, in choosing to devote “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to separate from the injustices of subjugation without representation chose to risk everything for their belief in a better world. The system of government they envisioned had never been tried in the history of the world, but they fought the greatest superpower of the world at the time in order to give a democratic republic a chance. We can imagine them enduring the sufferings of Valley Forge, in which men’s frostbitten feat bled as they stumbled across the snow. They were fighting for a better world, a world they had never seen.

We can think of the faith of our ancestors who faced death on an unprecedented scale in the Civil War. It was the faith of men such as Abraham Lincoln who persevered the cries of shock and outrage, and continued to fight for the better world that he envisioned. There are no better words than the words of Lincoln himself, in what is regarded as the greatest speech ever given:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in
a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so
conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great
battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of
that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their
lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and
proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot
dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.
The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated
it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will
little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here
have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here
dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this
nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people shall
not perish from the earth.

We can think about the faith of those who stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. We can think about the Marines who landed on beaches such as Iwo Jima to fight horrendous, bloody engagements against fanatic opposition. Fascism, Communism, and totalitarianism had consumed the world like a plague, and gained the upper hand. Nazi fascism and Imperial Japanese totalitarianism had seized most of the world in their bloody claws, and men of faith had to pry those claws away by force, finger by finger.

What was on the mind of the soldier who stumbled over the bodies of his fallen brothers while machine gun fire raked across the sand in front of him? What sustained him? What was it that kept such men moving forward, when “forward” seemed to lead only to violent death?

It was faith, hope, and love.

One rabbi, who survived the horrors of the death camp at Auswitzch summed up his experiences by saying, “It was as though a world existed in which all of the Ten Commandments had been reversed: Thou shalt kill, thou shalt lie, thou shalt steal, and so forth. Mankind has never seen such a hell.”

Against such evil stood ordinary men who were motivated to acts of greatness by faith, hope, and love. They died by the millions, but they fought on because they had faith that their sacrifices would not be in vain. And in enduring through faith in a better world that – even when the world before their eyes was nearly consumed by evil – they prevailed over that evil.

And I would add to that list the men and women who are wearing the American flag on their shoulders as they fight to secure liberty in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have been magnificent. I have been so proud of them. Through danger and in spite of every kind of opposition, they have fought men who would impose their will by means of force and terror, and they have prevailed.

On this Memorial Day, we stop to honor those who have fallen in the struggle to provide a better world for succeeding generations. We stop to consider the faith that such men must have had to endure incredible deprivation, danger, and terrible death. And we reflect on the content of their faith: what Lincoln called “a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

We know that the vision of such a world has been under attack throughout history, by men who have harbored a darker, more terrible vision of the world. And we know that apart from our warriors, and the faith that sustains them, we will not be able to prevail in the continuous struggle against evil.

Please say a prayer for our warriors, who have placed themselves in harm’s way just as our warriors who came before them. Pray for their safety. Pray for the success of their mission. And pray for their faith, which gives them the courage that sustains them.

And let us honor every one of our veterans – both the living and the dead – who have worn the uniform of the United States of America.

President Bush Honors Fallen SEAL With Medal of Honor

April 8, 2008

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/04/20080408-3.html

President Bush noticeably teared up as he honored Petty Officer Michael Monsoor for sacrificing his life for his Teammates. At one point he clearly could not speak. Not nearly as much of a “warmonger” as he’s frequently credited with being, I suppose.

Master of Arms Second Class Michael Monsoor was providing rear security for two snipers on a rooftop when an insurgent’s grenade was tossed at them. The grenade struck Monsoor in the chest and rolled toward his Teammates. Monsoor screamed “Grenade!” and threw himself on the explosive, sacrificing himself. He alone had a clear path of escape; he chose to save his teammates at the cost of his own life.

As President Bush said, “On Saint Michael’s Day — September 29, 2006 — Michael Monsoor would make the ultimate sacrifice. Mike and two teammates had taken position on the outcropping of a rooftop when an insurgent grenade bounced off Mike’s chest and landed on the roof. Mike had a clear chance to escape, but he realized that the other two SEALs did not. In that terrible moment, he had two options — to save himself, or to save his friends. For Mike, this was no choice at all. He threw himself onto the grenade, and absorbed the blast with his body. One of the survivors puts it this way: “Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, ‘You cannot take my brothers. I will go in their stead.'”

The words from Jesus in John 15:13 come to mind. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

President Bush’s words are far better than any I can offer. He continued:

“Perhaps the greatest tribute to Mike’s life is the way different service members all across the world responded to his death. Army soldiers in Ramadi hosted a memorial service for the valiant man who had fought beside them. Iraqi Army scouts — whom Mike helped train — lowered their flag, and sent it to his parents. Nearly every SEAL on the West Coast turned out for Mike’s funeral in California. As the SEALs filed past the casket, they removed their golden tridents from their uniforms, pressed them onto the walls of the coffin. The procession went on nearly half an hour. And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.

For his valor, Michael Monsoor becomes the fourth Medal of Honor recipient in the war on terror. Like the three men who came before him, Mike left us far too early. But time will not diminish his legacy. We see his legacy in the SEALs whose lives he saved. We see his legacy in the city of Ramadi, which has gone from one of the most dangerous places in Iraq to one of the most safest. We see his legacy in the family that stands before us filled with grief, but also with everlasting pride.

Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor: America owes you a debt that can never be repaid. This nation will always cherish the memory of your son. We will not let his life go in vain. And this nation will always honor the sacrifice he made. May God comfort you. May God bless America.”

President Abraham Lincoln’s Nov 21, 1864 letter to a mother who lost five sons fighting for the Union are worthy of mention here.

“I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should
attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your
bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln

Master At Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, today your country honors your life and your sacrifice for laying your own life upon that hallowed alter. May your family and your Teammates overcome their grief at your loss and cherish your memory and your example. May all of us in some small way become better people, more willing to think of others more than we think of ourselves, because of what you did that day on 29 Sep 2006.

And we honor our Navy SEALs and all of our magnificent warriors in the combat zones, who sacrifice themselves for us every single day by volunteering to serve in a dirty, difficult, and dangerous environment. May your sacrifices ultimately be rewarded with a stronger America and a better world.