This weekend I worked at the American Legion burger booth at Danube Fun Days. The men who are active in the Legion are Viet Nam era guys. Many of us have sons in their 20’s and 30’s.
We had many interesting discussions during the slow times that night. My wife had been in Willmar and called me on the cell phone to tell me she witnessed the military escort returning the body of Kyle Miller to Willmar. I shared this with the guys and it became very quiet.
Miller, who was killed last week in Iraq, was the 40th person with Minnesota ties killed in Iraq. One man said that even though 40 young men have died, and each life is valuable, it seemed like that wasn’t very many people to die in this war.
Now the discussion picked up speed. One man said 40 men to die is 40 too many. That is true. Another man said, “We get shook up about 40 men dying yet each year in Minnesota 14,000 plus babies are aborted and no one seems to get shook up about that.” More eyebrows were raised; and a man whose son just received his Master’s Degree but has no military service told his son, “I’d rather bury you in a coffin draped with the American flag than bury you because you got drunk and died in a car accident.” (Alcohol related driving deaths in Minnesota were 567 in 2004.)
That’s what I like about Western Minnesota, German, Dutch and Czech farmers and veterans-- they get to the bottom line really quickly.
Yes, it is something to think about. May no more young men have to die. In the meantime, may we value each life so highly that none born or unborn would be brutalized or forgotten. Please don’t forget!
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