The following is an open letter to
tragedy pimp grieving mother Cindy Sheehan from author Stephen Mansfield.
Dear Mrs. Sheehan,
You are in a firestorm of grief and what must be a disorienting swirl of world attention. For that reason, I will be as brief in my remarks as I hope to be compassionate.
I will not insult you by presuming to know your sorrow. The loss of a son in armed conflict abroad must be among the most soul-wrenching experiences possible. You are surely right to rage against the horrors of war, right to demand answers and right to reach for those of like mind.
I fear, though, that what began as a mourning mother’s righteous cry for meaning is becoming something that threatens to dishonor Casey’s heroism. Though I mean no disrespect, it is clear you are becoming swept up in a cynical drama that is far afield from the meaning of the war and your son’s sacrifice. From your daily blogging on Michael Moore’s web site to the pronouncements you feel obligated to make on Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip, you risk abandoning the moral high ground of a grieving mother and are in danger of becoming just another fleeting voice on the American pop culture landscape.
The central issue here is not whether George W. Bush meets with you for a second time or whether your self-styled “peaceful occupation” of Crawford, Texas ever wins the explanations you seek. The central issue is that when your son volunteered for military service, he placed himself upon an altar of sacrifice. Sadly, the ultimate sacrifice was indeed required. Yet he gave himself willingly, as all our soldiers do in this generation, and his death is therefore the noble death of a hero and not the needlessly tragic death of one accidentally or foolishly taken.
What we must understand is that a pledge to military service is a surrender of rights, a surrender of comforts and, potentially, a surrender of life if the nation calls. What leaves us so stunned at the death of a soldier, beyond our grief for a life snuffed out and our personal loss, is often our failure to understand the noble calling of the profession of arms and the warrior code that gives this calling meaning. When your son, and the thousands like him serving today, pledged himself to military service, he did not just “join the army.” He offered himself to his God and his nation in an act of devotion that has been repeated for centuries. He entered the fellowship of those who offer their lives willingly in service to others. His death, though a horror, was a horror with meaning, willingly engaged.
I cannot know your sorrow. I can urge you, though, not to taint your son’s offering on what Lincoln called “the altar of freedom” by tethering it to the passing parade of trendy causes. I can also urge you to live now in the knowledge that your son’s passing ennobles our nation, just as I trust it will now ennoble you.
With deepest sympathies for your loss,
Very well written and contains more respect for Cindy Sheehan than I feel she deserves. I find it interesting the large mainstream media’s selective omissions in their reporting of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. For example, not too many people know that after volunteering for duty in the U.S. Army and serving a tour in Iraq, Casey chose to serve a SECOND tour in Iraq. He had the option of ending his first tour and going home, but his choice was to go back. The major mainstream news outlets as well as
left wing extremist Cindy Sheehan leave this crucial fact out. There are numerous examples I could cite as well but suffice to say that although I support Cindy’s right to protest and applaud her for doing so, the outrageous comments and outright lies she has been espousing have caused me to lose all respect I have for the woman. I cannot and will not support what she says but I defend her right to say it. I also excercise my right not to listen any longer.
Mr. Mansfield warns in his letter that Cindy runs the risk of
abandoning the moral high ground of a grieving mother and are in danger of becoming just another fleeting voice on the American pop culture landscape
Well, it is now obvious that she long abandoned that moral high ground and has wandered into the muck and mire of liberal extremist rhetoric, hypocrisy and falsehoods. Mr. Mansfield also states Cindy Sheehan “threatens to dishonor Casey’s heroism.” She is dishonoring Casey’s herosim and further prostitutes his sacrifice for his country with her words and actions. For this she should be ashamed of herself but she has become so self-righteous and has been surrounded by other extremists like moveon.org and
media whore Al Sharpton that any sort of morality is lost.
I have tried to steer clear of political entries on my blog and for the most part I have but frankly this situation as well as the media’s handling of it has horked me off enough that I just had to post my feelings on the matter.