Give thanks for a free holiday


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This past Thanksgiving as I was giving thanks for all the things that I was thankful for I realized that there were over 17,000 families whose Thanksgiving would be somewhat different. These are the families of soldiers whose lives have been lost or who have returned home maimed. These families I would like to give thanks to because their loved ones have given the ultimate sacrifice?their bodies and souls for us to have freedom this Thanksgiving without fear of terrorism.

As of November, 2004, over 2,000 soldiers have been killed and another 15,000 maimed. Allied and Iraqi casualties are even greater. Usually the media does not report that for every death there are four or five men and women seriously wounded on all sides.

I guess the term "seriously wounded" does not begin to convey the horror that this war has become for so many families this past Thanksgiving. And so far at least for now, the United States has been a safer place because of those 17,000 soldiers, and we have celebrated a Thanksgiving free of terrorism because of those 17,000 soldiers and the other 150,000 that are still fighting against terrorism. But we cannot forget that the person who ordered the 9/11 attack is still free and planning more destruction. 

Osama bin Laden, who ordered the attack on America, had over 3,000 people killed within an hour. We must never forget these individuals and thank our soldiers this Holiday Season for revenging those citizens for an attack that will never be forgotten.

As we celebrate this holiday season, I would like you to keep in your prayers a young woman soldier, wounded in Iraq, who is now crawling with no legs being trailed by her three-year-old son. A mother who will never know what it will be like to chase her son around a playground, play soccer with him or just take a walk with him to school in short pants like most other mothers will when they take their child to school for the first time.

Let's give thanks to Ruth Aitken, whose son died in Iraq. She made known her feeling about the President's war: "It makes me mad that this whole war was sold to the American public and to the soldiers as something it wasn't." 

And how about Fernando Suarez del Solar of California, the father of a son killed in Iraq. He said that he believed that his son died for "Bush's oil."

Or the father of staff sergeant Kendall Waters-Bey who said: "President Bush, you took my only son away from me." 

Taking their feelings in to account, we give them and their sons and daughters thanks this Holiday Season for doing what so many of us are proud of them for: Preserving our freedom from terrorism.

So to the families of those soldiers lost at war or maimed, I and the rest of us who reads this article a belated Thank You for your love one's ultimate gift?LIFE.

Ronald Lawless
Oak Park

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