Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Wall

When I was attending the Special Forces Qualification Course at Ft. Bragg, I had a brother stationed there with the 82nd Airborne. I remember stopping by his barracks after returning from 4 weeks in the field. First, I ordered pizza for us and his roommates to eat a meal I could enjoy for the first time in a month. Then, over the remnants of my long craved for meal, I asked, "Where can we go for the long Thanksgiving weekend?" He first suggested Disney World. I had previously experienced Disney Land but I knew that Disney World was much more than Disney Land; it was a good idea. Then he said Washington D.C. was an equivalent distance the other direction. All thoughts of Disney World disappeared and a couple of hours later, we were driving north.

We checked into a hotel near a subway station and within walking distance of Georgetown then were out on M Street that night. For a good little Mormon boy raised in Utah, the crowd of people packing M Street was a new experience. The air was charged with excitement and I was thrilled to be experiencing such abundant life after 4 weeks of isolation in the cold, mud, and rain.

The Wall was only a few years old at the time and it was our first stop on The Mall the next day. I wore a MIA/POW bracelet at the time with the name of a Special Forces solder who died five days after I was born and I searched The Wall for his name. I found it and touched it. Still today, I feel a love for a man I never had a chance to meet. He was in the command bunker of an A Camp when it was overrun and left for dead. They never recovered his body or confirmed his death so he is still officially listed as missing-in-action. He was my predecessor and I do what I can to continue his legacy. He is one of many that The Wall honors.

Next month, a gathering of losers plan to form at The Wall to make their political statement that the freedom and justice that my predecessors fought and died for is no longer worth fighting for. If their wishes are granted then we will lose the war in Iraq. Millions will lose the freedoms we take for granted and justice will be at the mercy of thugs who think women should not be educated and murdering masses of people in an open marketplace is good form. These losers want to start their march for the abandonment of everything our country stands for at The Wall; the very Wall that honors the men who fought against a different tyranny that many of these same losers wanted to establish at home.

A Gathering of Eagles has formed to protect The Wall; I wish I could be there. I hope to encourage someone to go in my place. These losers, who have vandalized property at our capitol in the past, think they can do whatever they want under the pretense of freedom of speech. Now the Eagles and I wish to use our freedom of speech to say; "We will not tolerate any vandalism of The Wall whether physical or political!"

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