Iraq casualties must strengthen resolve

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 3, 2005

Though American soldiers continue to fight the war in Iraq thousands of miles from here, the effects hit close to home last week.

One of Lawrence County's own, Spec. David Ford IV, was killed while serving our nation in Iraq. The 20-year-old's youthful appearance has helped many people put a face on the war casualties.

More than 1,900 U.S. men and women have been killed in the war that has sadly begun to divide the country. We must ensure that this does not happen and that we remain dedicated to the mission, for the sake of all those still overseas.

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The casualties must serve to only strengthen our focus on completing the mission we have begun. Regardless of how you feel about our reasons for going to war, the bottom line is that we did go and are now beyond the point of return.

Now, we have a responsibility to see this through to the end. We owe it to all who are still fighting those overseas, all those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and the Iraqi people.

To stop now, would be the worst mistake our nation could make.

Yes, the violence continues and the road has been much tougher than our government originally led many to believe. And, yes, the formation of a constitution has hits some snags.

But none of this should weaken our support for our soldiers or for the mission. Our nation requires that people have the right to express their opposition to the war but each of us must make that decision on our own.

Many families who have suffered a loss in the war still remain committed to finishing the mission for which their loved ones died - providing freedom to those who cannot do it on their own.

The Associated Press recently told the story of Lance Cpl. William B. Wightman, 22, of Sabina and the 13 other Marines who died Aug. 3 in Iraq

Much like Ironton's Ford, family members remember that Wightman dreamed of being a soldier as a young boy.

''He would play with those G.I. Joes and he'd say, 'I'm going to grow up and be one of these guys,''' said his aunt, Missy Luttrell. "All of his life, that's all he would talk about.''

For all the David Fords and the William Wightmans of this world, we must not stumble. We must not fail. We must not quit.