CINDY SHEEHAN: A SHAMEFUL EXAMPLE OF GRIEVING

Surprise can not sum up the feeling I got when I learned that Cindy Sheehan, pawn of the American press, had flown to Canada to petition our government to encourage treason in her own country. This is the same woman who felt it necessary to dishonor her own son’s memory by protesting the fact that her son, an adult, had died doing what he had chosen to do; protecting freedom.

I am sure that this subject brings with it a serious amount of emotion. The number of people now opposed to the Iraq war is most likely at its highest point. That, however, really has no bearing on this story.

When one enters the American military, or any other for that matter, I can’t imagine one not contemplating being required to go into battle. Sure, we live in a time of relative calm, especially here in North America, but armed forces are armed for a reason.

When parents like Cindy Sheehan feel the need to assemble a stage and rail against the decisions that led to her son being sent to Iraq, they inadvertently do a massive amount of damage. While they are entitled to their beliefs and have the right to speak their minds, these parents only accomplish one thing and that is to bolster the enemy. They strengthen the resolve of those evil men and women overseas whose delight is piqued by knowing they are about to shed American and Canadian blood. By railing against her own government, the likes of Cindy Sheehan encourage the enemy abroad to step up its attacks against other American and Canadian sons and daughters; children such as her own.

As well, these grieving parents fail to take into account the fact that their son or daughter willingly joined the Armed Forces. Their children apparently had a much different value system than their parents, or so it would seem. I have heard some state that these men and women never bargained for war, but were only pursuing a free education. Poppycock. Young people are not that stupid.

Our boys and girls do not want to die, but they know that there is always the outside chance that they will while doing something that they have chosen to do. While the four bodies who arrived back in Canada at the end of last month saddened me immensely, they also made me pretty darned proud. To know that I live among giants who are willing to lay down their life for me, to realize that such people aren’t only in our history books, makes me honoured to live here. The only shame I feel when they fall is that I never offered to when I was of their age.

Cindy has suggested that Canadians pitch their tents on Stephen Harper’s lawn to protest our presence in Afghanistan. “They should take their tents and put them on the prime minister’s lawn and say, ‘I want to know why you’re making our soldiers fight and die, and kill innocent people in Afghanistan, and I’m not moving until you let me know,'”

Apparently Cindy considers men who bury axes in the skulls of our soldiers and who rig roadside bombs to maim our forces to be innocent people. They are not, Cindy, they are enemy combatants committed to our destruction. The residents of Afghanistan have told our soldiers countless times that they are appreciated and wanted. We are making a huge and profound difference in their lives by keeping the Taliban at bay and unable to regain control of the municipal levels of government.

Ms. Sheehan goes on to say that by having our soldiers in Afghanistan, we are freeing up Americans to fight in Iraq. Perhaps our peacekeepers all over the world are accomplishing that. What now? Should we cease and desist all international peacekeeping duties to tie up more American soldiers? Sorry, Cindy, but that is not how we operate.

Canadian soldiers are dying, too. Just like Cindy’s son. I sit here knowing full well that I have absolutely no idea of the scope and depth of her grief. Nor do I ever want to. But should my fate ever come to that, I would prefer to stand up proud like the parents of our fallen sons did just this year. I would hope to stand up and honor their strong belief in our country, in their duty, and their desire to make the world better. I would hope to stand up and proclaim that they died doing what they believed was right, and doing what they loved; serving others. I hope to God that I never become as disenfranchised and miserable as this mother.

I believe the only legacy this distraught and bitter woman will leave is bad timing. She fought against her own country’s involvement in Iraq too late for her own reasons, and she has arrived in Canada three months after a government that may have worshipped her was stripped of its power and replaced by a real one.

Cindy, please go home, you are embarrassing yourself.