Marilee Carlson wrote a piece in the WSJ on the cost of the war in Iraq, which included the life of her son. She closes with these poignant and powerful words:
In America, we often think that this transformation happened solely by the work of our American heroes. But the Iraqi people have worked very hard to transform their country and to take back control.
I remember meeting Brig. Gen. Ismael Alsodani, the Iraqi defense attaché, when he visited Arlington National Cemetery and Michael's grave last year. He leaned next to my older son, Dan, and said, "I've lost my brother too."
Those five words changed Dan's life. He had been living in a chasm of grief for Mike, and suddenly his perspective opened up. He was able to look beyond his personal grief and recognize all who have fought for freedom in our country, in Iraq, and around the world.
Our military is the most effective military in the world. We give thanks to each and every man and woman who has served and helped to change the world in which we live. They have given hope for the new Iraq and for the future of its people.
Many have died for the sake of our freedom. May their memories be a blessing among us.