Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear Mothers, From a Marine

You may have seen this one circulating since 2001 but if you haven't, it's worth a read.

Dear Mothers, From a Marine:

America holds its breath as it awaits word from the president or congress on whether or not we are going to wage an all out war on terrorism. Some two million Americans serve in the nations military. That means two million mothers anxiously wait and wonder as to the destiny of their sons and daughters.

Indeed it was tragic what happened on September 11th, 2001. Such an act is incomparable to anything that has taken place in our history. The event has been likened to Pearl Harbor, however on that day in 1941 it was this nations Naval fleet that was attacked, not thousands of unsuspecting civilians on a beautiful morning in New York.

All we have been told by our commander in chief is to Be ready. You will be called upon, and you will make us proud. These words electrified a group of Marines watching a television receiving a broken satellite signal at three o'clock in the morning in the middle of the Mediterranean. The thought of finally utilizing years of training in the name of our country in a worldly cause made those Marines feel as though they were needed, and the training not wasted. An enormous sense of pride rushed through the ship and caused everyone to take their jobs, their weapons, and their lives more seriously.

Undoubtedly, those very same words sent tremors through the hearts of these two million mothers. One who is not can only imagine the thoughts and fears of a mother. Most likely those of us who are not will never be able to even fathom that level of fear derived from that level of love.

President Bush and others have said it will be a long campaign and more likely than not a costly one. Costly. Another word. This is subject not approached with a word such as "billions". When costs in these matters are evaluated, words like few, some, and acceptable losses are used. A few hundred? Maybe a few thousand? Some of them?

These mean nothing to a mother whose son or daughter is one of the few, and the loss is hardly acceptable. The words become ones of resentment and bitterness, and the mothers cry "why did I have to pay?" History has shown there no sound equaled to that of the mothers' collective cries. They pain those at home and those abroad. Their sympathy is felt by mothers across the world watching on their televisions thankful to still have their sons and daughters.

Mothers, I do beg of you to understand. We do not seek violence or death. I look at America and remember the dozens of times I flew from city to city on commercial airliners. My biggest concern was what was being served for lunch. Such will never be the same for me again. When the world trade center is rebuilt I will never be able to look upon it without shuddering and seeing the ghastly images we have born witness to in the past week. But my children will never truly know what we endured as children should not. The next generation should know the word "terrorism" as a fantasy. Something that took place in another land many years before and should never fall prey to the fear that flows through us now. The world, this nation, this military now has the direction and the power to put an end to this. Not to merely achieve justice for what has happened but to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Mothers, your sons and your daughters now have the power to help and to make this a reality. It was us who signed the contract swearing to "protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic." This generation thanks you for sparing us the fears of a global nuclear war with the U.S.S.R. We thank you for not having to worry about a raid through Europe by the Warsaw Pact. We thank you for fighting the war against communism and raising us in an almost entirely democratic world. Now this generation has its own fight. This generation is ready.

We will lay down our lives if it comes to that. If it takes me and a thousand or five thousand of my brethren to make that possible so be it. If that is what it takes to know that when OUR sons and daughters board a plane their biggest fear is turbulence, then it will be done. We will make that sacrifice. Despite what many believe, our generation is aware of what that word means and we will make silence the criticism that has characterized our generation.

Mothers, your sons and daughters fight for you, and for their country. Your sons and daughters love you. Your sons and daughters wish only for what we have wanted since our conception. We wish to make you proud.

All my love,

Lance Corporal Timothy G. Apel USMC
0331 Machine Gunner

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Unknown said...

No father could be prouder.

Lt Col Tim Apel, USAF (Ret)

Anonymous said...

I actually wrote that. It more like Sep 19th 2001 though. On board the USS Kearsarge. LF6F 2-01 Haven't see it in a long time. Thanks