Monday, November 1, 2010

Still at War

A couple of weeks ago, Mike Ehredt ended his run across the US. The Army vet and retired postal worker started on May 1 in Astoria, Oregon and ended on October 15 in Rockland, Maine, pushing a stroller for more than 4,400 miles. In the stroller were small American flags, the supply of which was replenished every so often by an entourage of family and friends. At each mile of his run Mr. Ehredt planted a flag carrying one name of the some 4,400 Americans killed in Iraq, starting with the last (at the time). The flag on Rockland's waterfront bears the name of the first, Marine Major Jay Aubin of Waterville, Maine, killed in Iraq in 2003.

In spite of this incredible feat that required endurance and stamina, not to mention three years of planning, Mike Ehredt received relatively little publicity, perhaps because he said he was taking no stand on the war, political or moral. He just felt a connection to those who died, he said. His attitude struck me at first as noble and effective. What better way to honor the dead, simply, without fanfare?

But on the eve of Election 2010, I've realized that no one is talking about war anymore, even though people are still dying in Iraq and the US military toll in Afghanistan is already over 400 this year and soon will approach the highest years of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." This has been the most cowardly election campaign I can remember. The Democrats seem to shy away from any cause or principle whatsoever, and the Republicans will discuss only greed and racism (excuse me, tax rollbacks and states' rights and immigration), and the Tea Partiers have retreated all the way back to 1776, without a clue and falsely too.

The rural states (as a percentage of population) gave the most to the cause; Maine for example, had 23 deaths in Iraq, the third-highest percentage in the US. The lowest percentage was Washington, DC. Where is the outrage?

Mike Ehredt, I don't know your politics or your ethics, but we need you back on the roads, this time for the rest of the fatalities in Iraq and for the 1,340 US dead in Afghanistan, now in its tenth year of war, and this time with screams and anger and trumpets and dirges and protests unlimited.

1 comment:

Jeff Boatright said...

"The Democrats seem to shy away from any cause or principle whatsoever"

Don't internalize the MSM meme. SOME Democrats seem to shy away from... Others, not so much. My Congressman never shied away from his causes (John Lewis, who has the mended bones, etc.). Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Claude Pepper, Nancy Pelosi, etc.

Not that there aren't many of them running from accomplishment.