Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!

New Year's Eve fireworks over Niagara Falls.

On this last day of 2007, I am thankful for my family and friends.

I remember our military men and women.

I remember General Patraeus. He's my choice as man of the year, even if he is only 5th on Time Magazine's list: 1. Vladimir Putin 2. Al Gore 3. J.K. Rowling 4. some dude from China 5. General Patraeus.

I remember Hillary Clinton's words to General Patraeus in a Senate hearing:
[To believe you] requires the willing suspension of disbelief.
I will translate:
General Patraeus, you are a liar.

I remember the grief of Christian Golczynski, and the loving sacrifice of his father. And I cry.

I remember American soldiers and the Iraqi boy they saved from a well. A wonderful story.

I remember the inspiration of Travis Manion. He saw evil, and he fought it. He was the best our country had to offer.

I remember Cathy Seipp. She was gracious. She was ruthless. Mickey Kaus: "She was so grouchy! She just wouldn’t take any shit at all." Cathy made me laugh. Hard. And suddenly.

I remember the inspiration of Shiri Negari. Her presence, and her vitality, are moving. I hope to be one-tenth as present and as vital as she was in her life. She was killed, not by Islam, but by Islamism - including Islamism in the person of Hamas sponsor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I remember the inspirational faith of Jeanne Assam. She walked directly into an ambush, shooting all the way, guided by the Holy Spirit.

I remember the inspiration of Aqsa Parvez. She wanted to live, to love, to taste life. She was almost certainly killed when her father acted on his evil interpretations of both Islamism and tribal honor codes.

I remember first reading about Horatius:
Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,

I remember Appalachian State, University of Louisiana-Monroe, and the Miami Dolphins.

I remember the Sunni and Shia of Baghdad, rebuilding St. John's Church, and purposefully attending worship with the Christians of their neighborhood.

I remember Joe Lieberman's moral courage; and that freedom saved 89,000 Afghan children this year; and grace in the Blue Ridge mountains; and why I believe in Christianity.

I remember my 6 year old niece (which is all she wants - for me to think of her):
Niece: "It's my birthday!"
smile smile smile smile smile smile smile
smile smile smile smile smile

I remember Dallas Cowboys fullback Deion "Cricket" Anderson. He was living in an oncampus equipment building at UConn last fall. He made the Dallas Cowboys roster this season. Sweet.

I remember Richard Jewell. He knew his purpose in life: public safety. He took his job seriously, and was vilified for it. We can all learn a lesson from him about standing for principle amidst foolish and even corrupt criticism. Joe Lieberman currently stands in Richard Jewell's shoes. Richard Jewell was an honorable guy, and a fine American.

I remember Democrats surreptitiously trying to reopen a vote in the House of Representatives - outside the rules of that government body - in order to rig the final count in their favor. Shameful. Corrupt. Unprecedented.

I remember Democrats rooting against American success in a war. I will remember Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn's honest words. He said it would be “a real big problem for us [Democrats who want the U.S. out of Iraq]" if General Petraeus presented a positive Sept. report on progress in Iraq. Not for a moment did those Dems consider that - if we are successfully helping Iraqi democracy succeed - maybe we should stay and complete the mission ... for the sake of, you know: America's future, the Iraqi people, defeating evil, humanity, stuff like that.

I remember this candidate for quote of the year:
"As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch."

- Headline over a McClatchy News Service story by Jay Price and Qasim Zein

I remember the Gathering of Eagles veterans who refused to allow anti-war protesters to swarm over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I remember, on April 26, finishing a long process of culling this blog's archives down to 95 posts. This post I'm compiling is about to be The End Zone's 246th blogpost.

If you've read a portion of the 246: I hope you remember some good things from them. And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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