I want to begin this blog by offering my deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Heath Ledger, the young movie star found dead this week in his apartment. The point of view of this blog does not in any way intend to minimize the loss, hurt, and emotional suffering of those with whom he was close.
However, the amount of media attention to this tragedy does seem excessive to some, while the heroically tragic sacrifices of other talented and brave young Americans go unnoticed. A “Blue Star Mother” (an organization of mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military bluestarmothers.org) wrote to me:
“In listening to the recent press hysteria surrounding Heath Ledger’s death, I can’t help but contrast that with the ultimate sacrifice our troops make every day with no fanfare.
My son, a Specialist with the Army 25th ID, is stationed in Taji, Iraq. Last Friday he witnessed the death of his very good friend, Specialist Jon Schoolcraft, age 26, to an IED, not to mention the grievous wounds sustained by others in the same attack. I would ask your listeners to log onto the DoD website (defenselink.mil/Releases/ ) just once to see the names and ages of the brave young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Better yet, turn off the gossip channels on the TV and Internet and write a letter or send a care package to the troops to let them know they’re not forgotten.
God Bless you, Dr. Laura, for all you do for our troops. I too am a Proud Mother of an American Soldier…Hoo-ah!”
I believe that a civilization is measured in great part by what it chooses to honor.