Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"A Marine who proudly stood by the war he died in"

Chrenkoff has another post consisting of unnoticed stories about the parents of dead soldiers who disagree with Cindy Sheehan. One of the most moving is the story of Toni and Matt Matula whose son Matthew was killed in Iraq last year:

"Matthew was very proud of being a Marine and proud of his unit and what they were doing," Toni Matula said.

When the Matulas saw the Crawford protest on TV, something did more than just bother them.

"All this stuff going in Crawford, we've just been watching it and shaking our heads until two days ago, we saw the crosses with the names on there," Matt Matula said.

On one white cross read the name Matthew Matula: their 20-year-old son who was killed in Iraq last year."He's not a victim, he's a hero, and I think that everybody that's serving our country is heroes," Matt Matula said.

"He knew joining the Marines, his chances are, that was the purpose. His main number one job was to defend our country. He was very aware of that before he signed up," Toni Matula said.

So Matt Matula went to Crawford to stand up for his son, a Marine who proudly stood by the war he died in.

"I went there and had Matthew's name taken off of there. It's fine for people to grieve their own way. It aggravates me to see them using other people's names to further their cause," Matt Matula said.

"For people to use his name against it is not what he died for. He died so that they can do that though," Toni Matula said.

One of the most troubling aspect of Cindy Sheehan’s protest is that field of crosses (though there's no excuse for that moron who drove a truck through it). If she wants to use her own son as a propaganda tool, I suppose that’s her right. But where did she get the chutzpa to use the sons and daughters of others?

Oh, and I’m sorry I used the word “chutzpa” Cindy. I know how you don't like the Jews.

Update: Here's James Taranto on the truck driving moron mentioned above:

A local insurgent attacked a settlement near Crawford, Texas, yesterday, Reuters reports:

"Some 800 white wooden crosses, bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq like her son, have lined the road near the area where [Cindy] Sheehan has pitched a tent. Witnesses said they saw a truck dragging a pipe and chains drive over some of the crosses on Monday night.
Larry Northern, 46, of nearby Waco, Texas, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident, Crawford Police Chief Donnie Tidmore said."

Now, we have no truck with mischievous criminals, but at the same time it's important to understand what motivates people to do things like this. After all, one man's vandal is another's freedom-fighter. The Sheehanoids should be asking: Why do they hate us?

Think about it: If outside settlers were occupying your land, demonizing your leaders and slandering your country, wouldn't you have feelings of rage and hopelessness? Again, we're not condoning what Larry Northern allegedly did. Our point is that only by understanding what drove him to this desperate act can we put an end to the cycle of recrimination.

Update: Edmund Morris, the author of one of my all-time favorite books (“The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt”) has written an excellent NY Times op-ed on Cindy Sheehan and the tradition of Presidential Sympathy. Read the whole thing, but I’ll give you this bit as an enticement:

He is our elected president, with the business of a nation to run. Ms. Sheehan has gotten more time with him than most grieving mothers, and if she felt, during those unsatisfactory minutes, that there was a glass wall around him, it unfortunately comes with the job. A president has to protect himself from emotional predators, or he'd be sucked dry within a week of taking office.

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