Obama’s administration brings with it the expectation that America’s misadventure in Iraq will finally begin to end sometime soon. At the same time, the number of US troops in Afghanistan is about to increase.Two events remind me that one’s feelings about these wars must not tarnish the affection and respect that those who die fighting in them deserve.
A few days ago I was alerted by a Facebook friend (thanks David T) to the sad story of John Roberge, 22 years old, who along with three comrades was killed on February 9 in a suicide bombing in Mosul, Iraq. John Roberge came from Leominster, Massachusetts, my hometown. And although I left Leominster long before he was even born, reading of his death and especially of his homecoming touched me deeply. I knew the streets, the street corners and squares that his funeral procession passed along. My friend David, who still lives ‘back home,’ wrote on Facebook of going to the candle light vigil to pay his respects along with thousands of other area residents.
It wasn’t always that way.