Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A True War Time President

The following is an example of how a President with character and integrity treats the soldiers he orders to war:

President Abraham Lincoln often visited field hospitals to talk with wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Once, doctors pointed out a young soldier who was near death and Lincoln went over to his bedside.

Is there anything I can do for you?" asked the president. The soldier obviously didn't recognize Lincoln, and with some effort he was able to whisper, "Would you please write a letter to my mother?" A pen and paper were provided and the president carefully began to write down what the young man was able to say: "My dearest mother, I was badly hurt while doing my duty. I'm afraid I'm not going to recover. Don't grieve too much for me, please. Kiss Mary and John for me. May God bless you and father." The soldier was too weak to continue, so Lincoln signed the letter for him and added, "Written for your son by Abraham Lincoln."

The young man asked to see the note and was astonished when he discovered who had written it. "Are you really the president?" he asked. "Yes, I am," Lincoln replied quietly. Then he asked if there was anything else he could do. "Would you please hold my hand?" the soldier asked. "It will help to see me through to the end." In the hushed room, the tall, gaunt president took the boy's hand in his and spoke warm words of encouragement until death came. (author and date unknown)

I don't know if this story is true or not, but wouldn't it be nice if President Bush could even pretend to be this concerned for the young men and women he has ordered into harm's way? What a nice change that would be from the empty "They hate us for our freedom!" jingoism that is the sum total of Bush's engagement in the lives of our soldiers.

(Thanks to Eschatonian Unrepentant Fenian for finding this.)


Michelle Klein-Hass said...

OMG that is so beautiful that I burst out in tears reading it. I hope it's true because that's what leadership is all about. Perhaps the only good Republican President was the first one. However, there are none who can match the hideousness that is G.W. Bush.

He has NEVER attended a funeral for anyone who has died in this whole war. I don't know of any wartime president who has not attended at least ONE serviceperson's funeral. Even Nixon did, if memory serves. Putting a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns doesn't count, because you don't have to face the parents of the dead soldier/sailor/airman/airwoman/marine.

He's pathetic. Would Dubya hold the hand of a wounded, hurting, dying serviceperson? Or more importantly, would any wounded, hurting, dying serviceperson want Dubya to hold their hand?

If there ever is a replaying of this scene with Dubya, I hope the serviceperson has the presence of mind to respond, when he asks if there is anything else he could do, "Get out of my hospital room and go to Hell."

Samurai Sam said...

Hi Michelle!

I agree completely. The Republican party of today bears absolutely no resemblence to the party of Lincoln.

History will judge George W. Bush very harshly, I think. And rightly is should.

Michelle Klein-Hass said...

I take back my comment about the only good Republican President being Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt wasn't perfect, but he did go after the Trusts and instituted some of the first "safety net" programs long before his cousin FDR. And yeah, he was a Republican. Didn't stay in the GOP for his entire career, but he started out there.

comprar puertas metalicas said...

Well, I do not actually imagine it is likely to have success.