WRITER’S NOTE: I wrote this column for Memorial Day 1998. It has been reprinted in a number of publications and is the most-requested reprint of columns I have written over the last few years. It is rerun here today as a reminder of why we celebrate Memorial Day and must work as hard as we can to avoid the horror of war.
He snapped awake at 0500, a full 30 minutes before the alarm was set to go off. For more than 30 years, he had been waking up at 5 a.m. It didn’t matter which time zone he was in or even if it was daylight savings time. When the big hand was on the 12 and the little one on the five, he was awake.
Rep. John Murtha who — unlike President George W. Bush — served his country in war says the deaths of as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians and an ensuing cover-up threaten destroy U.S. efforts in Iraq than even the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.