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May 26th, 2008
09:50 AM ET

Thinking of Nick on Memorial Day... and every day

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/23/art.nickandtracy.jpg caption="Nick and Tracy Miller before his deployment to Iraq" width=292 height=320]

Tracy Miller
Towson, MD
Mother of Nicholas L. Ziolkowski

Every year at this time I run the gamut of emotions. It’s Spring, the weather holds great promise, I see lush green when I look outside..

…then I think, every year, that the leaves are never fully on the trees until Nick’s birthday, April 21.

It’s not that I need a reminder like Memorial Day or Spring, even, to think about Nick. I thought about him and his brother every day when they were growing up.

But now that Nick (Cpl. Nicholas L. Ziolkowski, USMC) is dead—KIA, Fallujah 2004—those thoughts are tinged with sadness.

I thought, like so many of my generation, that after Vietnam we could not have another such war. I blame President Bush and his cronies for Nick’s death. I am angry, and I am frustrated.

How much longer can our country withstand the abuses perpetrated upon it by our government?
I think back to the year 2000. Certainly, things weren’t perfect, but we had the respect of other nations, we were hopeful as we faced a new millennium, the economy was showing signs of problems but still stable, and Nick was still alive.

On Memorial Day, my heart goes out to the increasing number of families who have lost loved ones, and I recommit myself to trying to make life better for those vets who survived.

_________________
Remembering our troops... and
how you can help...


Filed under: Memorial Day
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I am so sorry for your loss of your son, Nick, and I admire you for your commitment to make things better for the veterans who survive. My prayers are with you.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 26, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  2. SHELLEY DOVE

    I HAVE NO IDEA OF THE PAIN THAT YOU SUFFER BY I AM SORRY FOR IT. I BLAME THIS SO CALLED PRESIDENT FOR KILLING AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF TEACHERS, DOCTORS, BIOLOGISTS, HUMAN LIFE. I AM SO AFRAID OF WHAT IS TO COME IF WE DON'T GET THE RIGHT PRESIDENT IN OFFICE THIS TIME. McCAIN SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME AND OBAMA HAS NOT MADE ENOUGH DECISIONS OF SUCH GREAT IMPORTANCE TO HAVE FAITH. I WILL BE CRITISIZED FOR WANTING HILLARY BECAUSE SHE COMES WITH BILL AND WE WERE AT OUR BEST IN YEARS WITH HIM, FAULTS AND ALL. MANY OTHER FAMILIES ARE GOING TO BE IN YOUR POSITION IF WE DONT GET OUT OF IRAQ. I HONOR YOUR SON FOR HIS FAITH IN OUR COUNTRY AND OUR LEADERS BUT I CURSE OUR LEADLESS FOR LYING AND PUSHING US INTO THIS WAR AT THE COST OF NOT THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTERS BUT YOURS..
    WITH MUCH RESPECT TO YOU!

    May 26, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  3. L Daniel, Loganville, Ga.

    I would like to take this moment to thank all who have and is serving our country, was it not for your selfless act we would not have the opportunities we have today.

    May 26, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  4. Sue in Florida

    Ms. Miler,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son, Nick. As I read your story, your
    pain was so evident. I too blame GWB and his associates for every heartache this useless war has brought. I am not a vengeful person but I do hope at some point they are forced to deal with the pain they
    carelessly and intentionally caused. I hope that each day brings as
    much healing as possible for you and your family. May you be comforted daily by God and knowing your son's love for you.

    May 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm |
  5. Sharon from Indy

    Tracy:
    As a mother of the 18 year-old son graduating from high school this week, I am so sorry about the loss of your son Nick in 2004. Your strength to serving the vets who survived is amazing, but I also understand your anger.

    Like many who are upset with President Bush's "Cowboy Diplomacy", we feel helpless with the decisions this administration made over the past five years. The combination of the executive branch's abuse of power and global special interests has led us into a war about money and natural resources.

    As mentioned, the Vietnam War was about the communist containment, and again, the military and economic special interests in the region. Are we again allowing the military machine to govern our decisions? After 911, the world did change but did our responsibility as a nation of peace take a back burner to our military ambitions?

    Doesn't anyone remember how the Bush administration lied and lied again to the American people for the sake of Homeland Security, Executive privilege and just basic fear mongering? Wire tapping, torture and weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist? The American people soon forget what is uncomfortable to think about.

    Looking back 50 years from now, what will the next generation say about this war and how many peers they loss and the "rights" they loss because of the decision to go to a war from a unqualified US president.

    May 26, 2008 at 10:57 am |
  6. Michael, NC

    Tracey-
    thank you for sharing your powerful thoughts. Prayers for your family this memorial day, and the loss of your son, who fought to serve our beautiful nation. Best of wishes...

    May 26, 2008 at 10:30 am |
  7. Cecil Jones

    I feel your pain, but you have earned the right to share it in such a huge loss. Those like me who have opposed the march to war since the Bush selection without a personal loss would be booed off the stage as unpatriotic. This is Memorial Day. Where were our soldiers and defenses on 9-11? What did we know and why did we choose to do nothing. The heroes I remember are all on Flight 93. All the losses and all the gains we enjoyed were lost on 9-11. We chose to do nothing and we lost all our rights and freedoms. Doing nothing is unacceptable regardless of which party you support. On this Memorial Day, I hope you remember Flight 93 and think about what else we could have lost if it were not for them. We are all soldiers. We must fight for them and fight to maintain our rights. Anything less is appeasement. That's why we are paying so much for gas.

    May 26, 2008 at 9:58 am |