Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Truth

My horoscope for today From the moment you open your eyes, you'll be not only prompted to tell the whole truth, you'll feel absolutely compelled to do so. Go for it, but be gentle on unsuspecting bystanders. You possess a very particular type of honesty that's so straightforward and full of integrity it can often be intimidating. Don't ever let anyone tell you it's not the right way to be -- especially now. Situations today call for someone with the guts to push the envelope past the point of politeness -- to boldly say what no one else has the courage to say. If you can't do it, no one can. And wouldn't it be a shame to let a bit of dishonesty ruin a potentially lovely evening?

Truth?? What truth am I supposed to tell?? I know one truth that has had me angry all weekend. The news in the Valley here has been going crazy over the California National Guardsman that died in Iraq last week. His face and name has been plastered all over the place…articles in the newspapers, stories on the nightly news, in-depth coverage of his funeral…all of that.

Before anyone jumps all over me, please let me explain my anger. If the media wants to cover his story and the family is ok with that, then more power to them…by all means, let’s remind people that the soldiers do have names, faces, families and stories and many of them (as with this man) are proud of the work they do.

Here is my issue: if the news media wants to give this story coverage, PLEASE get your facts straight…please DO NOT trample on the memory of others who have fallen in order to make your story more dramatic!!

All of the stations I have seen and all of the articles I have read (until this morning where a slight correction has finally been made) have stated that this man was the FIRST National Guardsman from the Sacramento area to be killed in the war in Iraq. This is not the case…not even close. And it angers me greatly that the others have not only been overlooked but apparently forgotten.

One of the young guys in Clark’s unit was killed just after Christmas in 2003. He was from the Sacramento area and he was assigned to a unit IN Sacramento. It was all pretty tragic and there was a little news coverage when it happened…but nothing like this. That’s fine, his family wouldn’t have wanted it to be a media circus anyway; they aren’t that kind of people. But his death shouldn’t be discounted…this latest soldier’s death was (and is) indeed a tragedy, but no more so than it was when Clark’s friend died.

Yes, it’s been 18 months since his passing…but that shouldn’t be long enough for it to not matter. I’m not making this argument as anything other than a statement of outrage towards the news media for their callousness…if they had wanted to say that this is the first resident of Sacramento to die…fine. That’s probably true…but he isn’t the first from the area. Not even close…

To M.M.’s family, we haven’t forgotten…we never will. His memory won’t be dimmed by the time that passes…his contributions are just as important as ever. And yes, he still is deeply missed.

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