Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Makes Me Sad

Down in Homestead, holding a folded American flag against her chest and a single white rose over an elegant gray coffin, Velma Torres paid her final farewell Saturday to her 21-year-old son Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera.

``For you my son, every moment of my life you will be in my heart,'' said a weeping Torres.


I cry when I read that. I listen to my two young sons play cars behind me , and I can't fathom the sense of loss.

Guzman died in Afghanistan along with four other U.S. Marines on Aug. 6 after their Humvee drove over a land mine in the western province of Farah, near the border with Iran.

Six Marines, arms behind their backs, slowly and deliberately saluted Guzman's casket. They then turned and faced each other, sidestepped over to the hearse and carried Guzman's coffin, draped with red-white-and-blue flag, into the church.

Inside, the Rev. Carlos Vega had a simple message: Guzman fought on the battlefield so that all Americans can enjoy freedom and justice.

``Christian gave his life for that purpose, he gave his life for that mission,'' Vega said.

Guzman's death, and so many like it, are just sad, really. Politics aside, it is hard to agree with Reverend Vega's conclusion.

My sons will turn 21 before I know it. I hope we pull out of this charade before then. If not, I am fond of the maple leaf and ice hockey, I can learn to dress warm, and that National Anthem is snappy.

God Bless Cpl. Christian A. Guzman Rivera and his family, and so many like them.

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