Sunday, November 20, 2005

Catch-up time

A long time ago, I mentioned that I would blog a bit about attending the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" rally in Crawford, Texas. Cindy Sheehan at the time was maintaining her protest camp near President Bush's ranch at Crawford, while he was on vacation there during August. Since Sheehan is back in the news, having recently been found guilty of a misdemeanor, publishing an upcoming book, and planning to resume her protest over Thanksgiving, it seems the right time to revisit that thought.

Cindy's protest resulted because her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April of 2004, and she was demanding that President Bush speak to her about the war. Part of what's so awesome about this country is that people can express a dissenting opinion. But, I'll be straight up--I'm glad the President never met her demand for a meeting. Never mind that Cindy was in a group of parents who had already met with the President at the White House. For him to acquiesce to such a demand would have set a very dangerous precedent, in my opinion.

I don't consider myself a political person at all, really. I mean, I do vote (I take that responsibility very seriously), and I hold definite opinions, but I'm generally pretty comfortable when others' opinions differ from mine. I certainly don't try to force my opinions on anyone else. And I've never been to any kind of political meeting before. So I surprised a lot of people, including myself, when I decided to go to the counter-protest rally. (My brother lives quite near Crawford and is always aware when the President is at the ranch, as his house is routinely buzzed by Apache helicopters en route to the compound. His wife had told him he couldn't attend, as he tends to be rather vocal about his [arch] conservativism. She was afraid he'd get arrested. She let him go with me, though, figuring I'd be the voice of reason. [Lord, the responsibility of it all!] So, first I drove the 90 minutes out to Waco, then we drove another 30 minutes to Crawford to show our support. [Turns out she needn't have worried, the rally was a good couple of miles from Sheehan's encampment.])


Why did I want to go?

I wanted to go for my wonderful friend Will, who left a good job in business to join the Marines because he feels so strongly about giving back to his country. I wanted to go for my lifelong friend Terry, who wrote me in response to this article:

"I am having such a hard time with this issue. Two sons of good friends of mine came home last month after we prayed and prayed and prayed. I think of Carol's son all home with his wife and two babies, and I cry as I type. I cry when I think that my brother Joe made it through twenty years of Air Force EOD - bomb de-detonating in Heathrow and all over the world. Even did his time in secret service. And my brother David who watched his friend get trapped between two tanks and know as soon as they moved, he was a dead man -- (the kid chose quick death over slow). Dead heroes, live heroes. Geez, they ARE all heroes because all their actions came down to putting the oppressed first. SO, after this venting and rambling, I guess I would like Sheehan to tone it down a bit. I simply do not want my living brothers and my friends sons and daughters (and husbands and wives from past wars) to LIVE in vain anymore than I want any kid to die in vain. So --God Bless our Military People and hold them in the palm of his hand if they come home or go home. . . .Dying is just the pits for the living, and I know God is not mad at me for saying that because he gave us this earth to live on and love and he gave us the ability to love each other if we so choose. . . .So - I'll shut up now!! and hope Mrs Sheehan looks outside of her world every so often. God Bless, I know that is a terrible thing to ask her to do, but so much is happening everywhere."

She's still not looking, if you ask me.


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