07 September 2006

Freedom is not free

For me, even more moving than the Vietnam Memorial is a memorial that I had not even known was there. It was 1997. My family was tired, and I offered to run back to the car and drive around to the Mall to pick them up near the Vietnam Wall.

I tried a shortcut, and found myself in the Korean War Memorial. Wow. Nineteen oversized statues depict soldiers from every service branch slugging through a downpour. At their feet is a list of UN Allies who fought alongside the US: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom. When you reach the head of the line, and the front of the sculpture, you are confronted with those words. Freedom is not free.

As we think about those who have been killed in Iraq and the many who have suffered injury, and then we watch the MSM daily drumbeat of bad news from Iraq, one can wonder if there is any point in it all.

If you are wondering that, go to www.theotheriraq.com and click on any of the three videos at the bottom of the page. Watch and listen.

I post one transcript here, but it does not do the ad justice:

VoiceOver NARRATOR: Saddam’s goal was to bury every living Kurd…
He failed.
KURD CITIZENS: “Thank you.”
“Thank you, America.”
“Thank you.”
VO NARRATOR: The Kurds of Iraqi Kurdistan just want to say ‘thank you’…
for helping us win our freedom.
KURD CITIZENS: “Thank you for democracy.”
“Thank you, America.”
“Thank you.”
But you really need to see the spot to get the feel of it.

No, Freedom is not free. It is priceless.

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