Last summer, I read the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I think that it will remain a favorite book for the rest of my life. There was a majesty to this man who rose from very modest beginnings to lead a nation at a crossroads that made all the difference. Recently a friend returned from a trip where she visited some of the sites of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.. She brought me a little book of Lincoln's words..
"I intend no modification of my often expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."
"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."
"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free-- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth."
It is my belief that freedom everywhere is the best protection against oppression anywhere. I have been thinking this past week of the soldiers who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wish them well. I wish for peace and I wish them a quick and safe return. I pray for all of these things.. But, I also wish them success.
We recently lost a soldier with ties to our home state. Lt. Jeffrey A. Ammon was a very smart and talented man who loved the people of Afghanistan and was achieving success. He organized drives to get school supplies to children. He fasted during Ramadan with the local people. He could have come home, but he extended his tour because he loved what he was doing and he knew he was making a difference. I believe that he, like so many others, is a hero who gave his life in an effort to secure liberty for others. May God bless his family with peace and comfort and may all of us remember the cost of liberty, the last, best hope of earth.