Young Americans Have Given Their All For Freedom

by James Glaser
April 25, 2002

At the age of fourteen Jacklyn H Lucas joined the United States Marine Corp. No one coerced this young man, he was just answering his call to duty as he saw it. Three years later on the Island of Iwo Jima Private First Class Lucas earned his nations highest award for valor. The Congressional Medal of Honor.

Five 16 year old American boys in military service died in Vietnam. Many more served and I am sure no one coerced these young Americans to give their all for their country. Some people hear that call others don't.

Today President Bush was on the radio saying how bad it was for Palestinians to coerce young people into becoming suicide bombers, when he truly has no idea if that is true. If American young men can give their all, trying to do the right thing for our country, why is it so hard to believe that those that did the same for Palestine, were not giving their all for their country.

It really doesn't matter if we believe that being a suicide bomber is wrong. Those in the Middle East feel that this is a legitimate tactic. For the President of the United States to cast aspersions on these young people's sacrifice for their country, no matter if we think it is abhorrent or not, only makes America seem totally on one side.

Even though we know that terrorist's suicide bombings are wrong for us, Palestinians feel that these people are making the supreme sacrifice for their nation and hold their memory in honor. For our President to say that these "heroes," in Palestinian eyes, were some how tricked into this because of their young age is a real affront to their true patriotism.

That is one of the real problems that America has in this area of the globe. We tend to judge all others by our standards and that doesn't always work. America must step back from judgmental statements and be real brokers for a just peace or come right out and admit that we back Israel no matter what.

Age has nothing to do with desire to help the country that you call your own. All through American history young patriots have protected our country and many have freely given their lives to do that. Other countries young people take the status of adulthood at a younger age and we should respect their sacrifice even if we think their actions are wrong. Not everyone has the same beliefs, nor chance for the education that we do.

America would get along much better in this world if we studied both our history and the histories and customs of the rest of the world.

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