I am in awe of the young men and women of America who voluntarily put their lives, their bodies, and their mental health at risk in service to their country. I can think of no more courageous, selfless gift than that. It is our sacred duty as Americans that we hold those shining lives dear and not expend them needlessly. If we chose to send them in harm's way, let there be absolutely no other choice.
The other day, in the windshield of the car in front of me, I saw a decal in memoriam to a young man who had died "so that we might be free." My heart went out to his friends and family, for it had been their sacrifice as surely as it was his. I mourned the loss to the world of such a brave, young life. But as I read the words with sorrow and empathy, I could not help but question the last few. I asked myself, if America had not waged war upon Iraq, would our freedom have been endangered? Did the young man truly give his life that we might be free? Sadly, I do not believe it so. If anything, he gave his life so that Iraqis might be free. Is that justification enough?
On one hand, I would never voice my doubts to the grieving loved ones this young man left behind. If delusion gives them comfort, then let the delusion stand. On the other hand, if we allow the lie to go unchallenged, we are perpetrating a myth that puts more courageous, young lives in jeopardy. Let us never forget that it is our sacred duty as Americans to hold those shining lives dear and not expend them needlessly. If again we are faced with the decision to wage war, let there be absolutely no other choice.