A Mother’s Day Apology

To the mothers of America who have lost a husband or a child in war:

By Doug Patton

May 10, 2004

Mother’s Day 2004

Former anti-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke apologized to the families of the victims of 9/11. President Bush and his Defense Secretary apologized for the Iraqi prisoner scandal involving a handful of U.S. military personnel.

Everyone, it seems, is receiving an apology from someone—everyone, that is, except you, the American mother who has sacrificed a child or a husband on the altar of freedom. On this Mothers’ Day, I thought I might offer you an apology on behalf of those who will never offer one themselves.

First, on behalf of the few reckless individuals who, through their actions in that Iraqi prison, have dishonored all who wear the uniform of the American military, I apologize. They have stained the reputation of your loved one. For this I am truly sorry. Please know that most Americans do not share the cynicism that paints your brave, caring loved one with such a broad brush.

On behalf of the politicians who wring their hands and declare this the worst case of military misbehavior they have ever seen, I apologize. These statements are mere election year posturing. Some inside the beltway either do not understand or do not care what their hyperbole has done to make the problem worse.

On behalf of Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry, who launched his political career three decades ago by deliberately besmirching the memory of 58,000 brave servicemen who died in Vietnam (not to mention those who returned maimed and without benefit of the silver spoon Kerry has always enjoyed), I apologize. Kerry was wrong to give aid and comfort to America’s enemies while smearing the good name of every man who served in Southeast Asia by lying to a U.S. Senate committee in 1971 concerning atrocities about which he had no personal knowledge. I apologize for his actions and for the fact that he will be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. You deserve better.

On behalf of the American media, which has exhibited such unbridled bias in its coverage of the current conflict, I apologize. Your husband, son or daughter has met the challenge to export freedom, promote understanding and make better the lives of those they liberated. The apparent policy of the so-called “mainstream” media has been to denigrate those efforts because they don’t happen to like the current commander-in-chief. I am sorry they behave as though they hate America.

On behalf of Osama bin Laden and the deluded fanatics who follow him, I apologize for the unprovoked attack on September 11th three years ago. I am deeply sorry that nearly 3,000 innocent people were murdered as they went about their business that day.

On behalf of the Saudi Arabian government, I apologize. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11 hailed from that nation. Osama bin Laden is a Saudi. Instead of an apology, the reward for American friendship has been $40 a barrel oil.

On behalf of the all the tyrants America has ever faced—from King George to Adolf Hitler to Ho Chi Min to Saddam Hussein—I apologize. Some of America’s best and brightest from each generation have been taken from us because of these despicable human beings.

As you celebrate Mothers’ Day, you may be the aging widow of a serviceman who never returned from World War II or Korea. You may have felt your heart sink upon receiving word that a beloved son was killed in action in Vietnam or the Persian Gulf. Or you may find yourself mourning the loss of your young husband, your son or even your daughter in the current war on terror.

On this Mothers’ Day 2004, you, of all people, deserve a sincere apology.

Doug Patton
is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country, and on selected Internet web sites, including www.GOPUSA.com, where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com). Readers can e-mail him at dpatton@neonramp.com.