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Letter to the Editor: Mocking freedom

— To the editor:

I think that fireworks on the Fourth of July has degenerated into a mockery of freedom. I spent a year of fear in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. On March 24, 2004, at 5 a.m., my soldiers were under a rocket attack. These rockets wounded 29 soldiers and killed four. These booms had serious bloody consequences. (The attack was in Taji, about 10 miles north of Baghdad.)

During the attack, I talked and prayed with one young Catholic father and husband after we were hit. He talked about his family and I helped him adjust his glasses. I prayed with him and then helped a medic lift his bloody, legless torso onto a stretcher. He bled to death before he reached the Army ambulance.

Rockets and explosions still scare me. They seem to be more about human stupidity, foolishness and fires. The Dallesport Fire Department patrols that night because of this fact.

I would like to see a moratorium on foolish fireworks and instead play the national anthem precisely at 10 p.m., followed by Taps to honor the wounded and fallen soldiers. Then I could appreciate the respect given to the thousands who have truly sacrificed for freedom.

Chaplain (MAJ) Del F. Griebel

Retired United States Army Reserve



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