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The ITT List

Friday, May 27, 2005, 8:27 am

3-Day Sale!!!  Special on Lives!

By Christopher Burrow
Memorial Day makes many think of barbeques, retail sales and an extra day off, but its inception was meant to be more than just a long lazy weekend. Often communities conduct parades to honor those individuals who have given their lives in service of their country. In its purest sense it is a noble ideal. To that end, on Memorial Day, "Nightline" will once again air a broadcast devoted to our fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which soldiers’ names will be read and pictures will show the faces of the otherwise anonymous “troops” who’s deaths are in the newspapers seemingly every day. Last year the same broadcast caused controversy as the producers of “Nightline” were attacked for being politically motivated during an election year, rather than just good old American patriots honoring the holiday as it was intended.

Recently, we learned that the death of Pat Tillman (U.S. Army Ranger and former NFL player who left football after 9/11 to join the “war on terror”) was built around a pack of lies, and as Tillman's father, Patrick Sr., told the Washington Post, "[The Pentagon] purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."

It turns out that the Ranger was killed by “friendly fire,” which sometimes happens in the confusion of war, but for the Pentagon to hide the truth and use Pat Tillman’s death as an example of a fallen “hero” in a nationally broadcasted memorial event was horribly politically motivated. As Mary Tillman, Pat’s mother, told the Post, "Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did. The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."

It is obvious that Pat Tillman’s mother and father continue to suffer his loss.

To date over 1,800 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the war began. Every one of those individuals had mothers and fathers, and some even had children of their own.

In truth, war isn’t about politics, it is about people dying.

And a "culture of life" should show concern for actual lives, not just cells with potential.
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