Tuesday, October 19, 2004
True heroism, and what it means, and why it counts and how it can impact us one and all
Laura Armstrong paid special tribute to two members of what John Kerry called "the army of Genghis Khan" -- her father Roger Bartholomew and Rick Rescorla, a hero of 9/11. She then concludes by explaining why John Kerry is, indeed, unfit for command:
Dad taught me that uncommon valor was a common virtue in his world. And that real heroes are quiet men of action and duty. I believe that to this day.
In 1993 I got a phone call from just such a man -- his name was Rick Rescorla. A company commander in the Battle of the Ia Drang, his photo graces the cover of the book, “We Were Soldiers.” Rick told me of the day he should have died. He said dad had defied incredible enemy fire to rescue him and his team from a dry creek bed just as the enemy was closing in. Rick wanted to reach out, he said, and tell me of Dad’s gallantry. No medals citation had been written – it was just one of the many acts of heroism that went unrecognized in Vietnam.
His grateful words that day meant more to me than any medal ever could.
Fast forward to September, 11, 2001. Rick was in charge of security at a large firm in the World Trade Center. His heroism in the midst of the chaos – real heroism by every standard -- saved over 3,000 souls. Mothers, fathers, brothers…sisters. He got them all out and then perished himself when the towers fell.
It was a few months after 9-11 before I put these events together, but it hit me that Dad’s split-second decision in 1965 had made possible great deeds in 2001. Because of two Vietnam vets -- one who died in 1968, one who lived -- good people are alive today. There were no atrocities committed by men such as this. Only acts that inspire and awe.
And that small story is only one of how many more?
And here you are, on one last mission, because you care about our country’s safety still. Kerry asks too much of the generations he betrayed if he thinks we support him. His judgement and character are flawed…he sees our War on Terrorism through the prism of 1971 and he’s dangerous to the military of 2004. You -- the real experts -- know this.
The empty campaign slogan, “hope is on the way” isn’t enough to make up for his legacy of lies, his refusal to give our troops what they need – and it certainly won’t stop Al-Qaida.
Our brave troops today require just a few things to complete the mission: an occasional hot meal, some letters from home, and the equipment they need to perform their duties. But most of all, they need a Commander in Chief and a country who can call them to a higher purpose – a president who keeps the faith with them, who FUNDS their budgets, and who will NOT throw them away for POLITICS.
Please remember what you’ve heard here today, and vote accordingly in November.
God Bless our veterans, our troops, our President and those who keep the homefires burning.