Democrat John Edwards’ call for voters to speak out against the Iraq war on Memorial Day has drawn criticism from a leader of the American Legion, who called the effort “revolting.”
In an e-mail message and on his Web site, Edwards asks supporters to honor and pray for the troops on Memorial Day and to send them care packages and treats. But the presidential candidate also urges supporters to use the holiday to denounce the war — an effort Paul Morin, national commander of the American Legion, decried as an attempt to “politicize” the day.
“Revolting is a kind word for it. It’s as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone,” Morin wrote on the Legion’s Web site.
I wouldn’t put it past Edwards and his ilk. The American Legion’s full statement is on its website. Conclusion:
We Americans need to remember why Memorial Day is special. It’s not about picnics or trips to the beach. It’s not about making pro- or anti-war statements. It’s not about supporting political candidates. It’s about honor, duty and the ultimate sacrifice. It’s about people who have decided that the United States is worth dying for.
The Department of Defense announced today the identities of four soldiers listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have been unaccounted for since May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. They are assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Reported as DUSTWUN are:
Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev.
Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass.
Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif.
Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich.
Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, and the incident is under investigation.
And the identified casualties:
Sgt. 1st Class James D. Connell Jr., 40, of Lake City, Tenn.
Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Mich.
Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy, 21, of Lynchburg, Va.
Pray for them and their families. It’s not too much to ask.