The following is a guest post from Marc "Armed Liberal" Danziger, a friend and a Blue Star Dad:
Why Condolence Letters Matter
Let me take a second, as a military parent, and try and explain why
I’m so offended by the
form/possibly robosigned condolence letters from President Obama.
First, and foremost, our children go to war, we don’t. It’s their
sacrifice, not ours. But the pain of loss when they die is very much
ours, and the things that might offset it are in no small part tied
directly to the perception of shared grief. The idea that others would
mourn my son if he had been killed in action matters – it matters a
lot – and that is why we respond to the scenes of small towns that
turn out en masse to honor a local soldier’s funeral.
I know – very well – from talking to the fathers and widows of those
who have died in the last few years that the military demonstrates
that care, from the soldier’s peers on up the chain of command.
But the politicians who send them to war also have a duty to those
soldier’s memories and to their families, and it is to recognize the
loss in a real, personal way.
The President – who in a real sense orders their death – owes the
soldiers who die honor. And in a war that has consumed as many
soldiers’ lives in totality as two days of fighting in Normandy, there
is no excuse for that honor not to be shown.
It’s a simple thing – to take five minutes and think enough about the
individual who died to write something to the survivors. To take that
time from a busy day to show the survivors that you did think about
Since Obama has been in office, approximately 1,750 US soldiers have
died in Iraq and Afghanistan. At 5 minutes a letter, that’s 3 hours a
month over the term of Obama’s Presidency. Less time than it takes to
play a round of golf.