Daily News Editorial
This Sunday is a very important day for a lot of people in our area.
A brief ceremony will be held 11 a.m. Sunday at the National Guard readiness Center on South 18th Street at the Regional Wellness center. The doors open at 10:30 and family, friends and community members are encouraged to wish Guard members a good sendoff as members of Battery A, 1st Battalon, 194th Field Artillery unit are being deployed.
After the ceremony, at about noon Guard members will board a bus and travel up 17th Street to Central Avenue to South First Street. From there, they will go to Mississippi then California for their final training before deployment to Afghanistan.
Part of the troop buildup in Afghanistan, this will be the largest deployment of Iowa National Guard members since World War II.
And we should all turn out to thank them and wish them well as they leave Estherville.
But first, let’s put their deployment into perspective.
When the U.S. fleet was attacked in Pearl Harbor by Japan Dec. 7, 1941, about 2,400 servicemen were killed. On Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,000 were killed in the combined attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and on a jet that later crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers counterattacked terrorists.
The Sept. 11 attacks claimed more lives than the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Sept. 11 attack was at the heart of America’s financial, cultural and political centers – New York City and Washington, D.C. The attack on Pearl Harbor was in a U.S. territory.
It’s only natural that families and friends should be sad and afraid for their loved ones who are departing. This is the third time local Guard members have been deployed since Sept. 11, and without a doubt this tour will be the most dangerous. This time, they are going to war. Even more, though, we should be overjoyed that we have brave people among us who are willing to go to Afghanistan and win the war on terror.
They are the best-trained soldiers in the world. They have the best weapons and equipment. And they have the overwhelming support of Estherville and Iowa and America behind them.
So will they succeed in their mission?
Chances are, they will.
America is putting enormous pressure on Pakistan to cooperate in finding Osama bin Laden who is harbored there. The Pakistani government has no choice but to relent.
With the help of our local Guard members, coalition forces will soon find bin Laden and make him pay for killing 3,000 Americans. It is our moral obligation as a nation to do just that.
So please, turn out Sunday to thank our brave Guard members for helping keep America free.
Because that is exactly what they are doing.
And if you find it inconvenient to attend the troop sendoff because of church services, ask yourself one question.
Would you even have the freedom to attend the church of your choice if others had not fought and died for your country?