Saturday, September 27, 2008
"I wanted him to know my son's name"
My latest guest-post at HughHewitt.com is about the bracelet Obama had to read from last night during the presidential debate.
[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]
(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)
Barack Obama is wearing a wristband in memory of a soldier killed in Iraq, given to him by a mother who said she wants the Democratic presidential candidate to keep others from dying.
Tracy Jopek of Merrill, Wis., gave Obama the bracelet at a rally Friday night in Green Bay, and Obama was still wearing it Saturday as he campaigned across the state before Tuesday's primary.
The bracelet has her son's name, Sgt. Ryan David Jopek, and the date the 20-year-old was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb, Aug. 2, 2006. "All gave some — He gave all," it says....
Mrs. Jopek said she and her daughter briefly met the Illinois senator at the rally and showed him a picture of a smiling Ryan dressed for battle. She said the senator hugged her and her daughter, asked a couple questions about Ryan and told her how much he appreciated the bracelet.
"I wanted him to know my son's name for one thing, for when he's commander in chief," Mrs. Jopek said during a telephone interview in which she frequently grew emotional. She said she was somewhat uncomfortable getting so publicly involved in the war debate, but felt the issue was too important for her to remain silent during this campaign.
She said she's a Democrat who will vote for Obama in Wisconsin's primary Tuesday. Like Obama, she said she was against the war from the start and had a hard time watching her son go to war.
"My son loved this country very much, I love this country, but I don't feel that staying in Iraq will vindicate my son's death," she said. "And it's not over for us until this war is over. I just don't want any more soldiers to die in vain for something that we can't solve."
It's genuinely sad that Mrs. Jopek felt, and perhaps still feels, that her son died in vain, but of course she is entitled to our respect even for opinions with which we may disagree. Although perversely continuing to insist now that he'd still vote against the Surge, even knowing what we now know of its success, Sen. Obama has at least conceded that the Surge has succeeded "beyond our wildest dreams." Most Americans of either political party would agree that no American soldier's sacrifices in Iraq have been wholly in vain.
But with due, deep, and genuine respect for Mrs. Jopek and her late son, in my own view, it's even more sad that more than seven full months after she gave Sen. Obama the bracelet bearing her son's name, Sen. Obama hadn't bothered to actually learn it. Instead, Sen. Obama treated that bracelet as a mere prop for a piece of political theater — and when he finally received what he recognized as a cue to perform, Sen. Obama still couldn't even deliver his intended line without a prompt.
Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to "I wanted him to know my son's name" and sent a trackback ping are listed here:
(1) Tom Mortensen made the following comment | Sep 27, 2008 3:38:19 PM | Permalink
I think I've only commented on your site once or twice since the Swiftie Wars we shared for a few months in 2004 but I've read your work regularly, when available.
Palin came to my attention about the same time she did for you and I think she's a political star rising in the small "c" conservative and small "l" libertarian regions of the political landscape.
Since we've conversed, I've moved to Texas from California. Arizona would have been fine for a Goldwater libertarian like me but my daugher lives here and Lake Travis is great.
Tom the RiverRat
Thanks, Tom, I remember you well. Welcome to Texas!
It gets worse. According to NewBusters, "Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son's name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family."
The comments to this entry are closed.