OUR OPINION: Death of Alabama native brings war home again

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2007

Army Sgt. William E. Brown, 25, of Phil Campbell is one of the latest casualties of the war in Iraq. The Alabama native died as the result of indirect fire from insurgents, the Defense Department said Thursday.

Approximately 3,500 American troops have died since the war began in 2003. That is a difficult number for people to accept, regardless of political persuasion. No one wants to see 3,500 of our troops die in any fashion.

With Brown, we in Alabama are reminded once again of the uglier side of war. We now mourn as a state for our fallen son. In his Franklin County home town, the heartache will be the hardest. His loved ones will join with their neighbors as they lay to rest a young man probably known more for what he has done at home as a relative or friend than for the great sacrifice he made in Iraq.

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As we move geographically further away from northwest Alabama, Brown will become more and more a number, a strong reminder of the sacrifice our nation has made, of what we have given for the freedom of another people once oppressed to such an extent we cannot fathom their turmoil.

In some circles, Brown will be mourned as another reason we should end this war. In other circles, he will be mourned and then held up as the very reason why we should finish what we started. So be it. That is the political question of the day.

But in Phil Campbell, he will merely be mourned. It will not be about about politics or war; it will be about him &8212; as it should be.