Reporter's Note: The President of the United States says he would like for Americans to write to him with advice on how to run the country. I’ve got the day off, so what the heck.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
My mother and I were talking on the phone the other day, and she told me about something she saw near her home in Alabama. She was driving through a nearby town, and as she rounded a corner near the only traffic light, she saw a woman standing in the rain, pushing little white crosses and flags into the sod to create a makeshift memorial to our nation’s fallen troops. It did not seem to be any kind of organized effort, or the work of some official group; just the private respect of a private citizen for those who served her country in a time of war.
“I wish someone from the media had been there to take a picture,” she told me, and I had to agree for two reasons. One, because she is my mother and disagreeing with her has seldom worked out well. And two, because I often think such little acts of remembrance touch people more than the largest parades.
Above my desk at work I have a group of photographs tacked to the wall. They are pictures of some of our troops who died in Iraq; troops I featured in a series of documentaries I put together on the war. Some of the pictures are on photo paper; most of them are simply printed on copy paper from my computer. As the months have gone by since I aired those documentaries, the pictures have all curled at the edges, and grown dusty, and every few weeks I think that maybe I should finally take them down.
But they remain, and I’ve pretty much decided to leave them there until our nation’s work in Iraq is done and the rest of the troops are home. That is not a political statement about when, or where, or how we will leave that country or whether we ever should have gone; it’s just my own way of remembering these young Americans and their families and the sacrifice they all made to serve our country. Every day I see their faces and silently remember their names.
As memorials go, it’s not much; but it means something to me.
I hope your Memorial Day is filled with family, and faith, and the freedom our fellow Americans have died for; here and around the world.
Find more of the Foreman Letters here.
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