Published 8:15 am Wednesday, February 18, 2004
President, leaders, troops and families need our support and prayers
In Monday night's address to the nation, President George Bush set a deadline for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his family to leave his beleaguered nation. By this point, it had become clear to the President, and to many of us, that Hussein's feeble attempts to meet guidelines established by the United Nations to disarm were disingenuous at best, and criminal at worst.
As our nation heads into a second conflict in Iraq, our thoughts and prayers are with our servicemen and women who are fighting to free people who for too long have been oppressed. We also pray for our soldiers' leaders, the officers who will lead them into battle, whose goal in the conflict is not only the military objective of disarmament, but as importantly, to make sure that the men and women, our husbands and wives, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, in their charge come home safely. And we offer our support to this nation's leaders who are tasked with making difficult decisions that will shape the future of the world, and will impact the lives and safety of those they order into battle.
Our nation, and our flag, stand for many things. Top among them is freedom. The same freedom that allows us to celebrate our troops, also gives us the right to question the decisions made by our leaders. There have been many public demonstrations against this campaign. Those demonstrations have included harsh words and in many of our opinions, outrageous actions. And while many of us bristle at the protesters words and deeds, the fighting men and women of this country are serving them as well as those of us who publicly praise them.
As our troops are ordered into harm's way, to complete a job they have volunteered for, trained for and willingly engage in, they need our support. Agree or disagree with the reasons they are where they are, they are following the orders of leaders who have studied the situation and have an understanding of what they have set in motion.
In our view, our nation is a great one because first and foremost we have been granted the freedom of speech and thought. Unlike those we are fighting to liberate, we can question our government and its decisions. That freedom carries a tremendous weight, though. A burden borne by those who serve in our military.
Our troops deserve our support.Whether at public rallies or during private moments when we are alone. Wish them well, pray for them if that is your belief, but above all else, wish the best for them and their families. They are fighting for the liberties we hold dear.