May 29, 2010

When Will We See Justice Served?

As I reflect on Memorial Day 2010 I have to include one extra day - June 1, 2009. That’s the day my nephew Pvt. William Andrew Long was murdered by a terrorist and his friend and fellow soldier Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula was severely wounded but survived the attack in front of the Little Rock Arkansas Army recruiting center. They both had recently finished basic training and were helping at the recruiting center while waiting orders to be sent overseas for active duty. They had stepped out in front to have a smoke break when the shooter arrived on the scene. Had they not been there it is likely many more people would have been shot since there were thirteen people inside the center at the time.

The terrorist - Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad - a US citizen who converted to radical Islam, claims his actions were justified because of the US fighting Muslims in Iraq & Afghanistan. He had been to Yemen recently and spent time with other radical Muslims while there.

My sister - Andy's mom - was sitting in the parking lot near the recruiting center waiting for Andy's shift at the recruiting station to end so they could spend time at home that evening. She did not actually see the shooting because she had the car parked facing away from the center, but she did hear the shots and immediately saw her son lying on the pavement in a pool of blood. She could not get to him because others were performing CPR in a valiant effort to keep him alive while the ambulance came. She had to stand by helplessly and watch her son's life ebb away.

The outpouring of support, prayers, cards and letters from people from all over was swift and heartfelt. When I visited my sister a few days after the murder of Andy she showed me a laundry basket full of those cards and letters. They were more than a simple sympathy card. These were from people who truly understand what it is about to serve your country and die in the service of one's country. Many contained long hand written letters expressing feeling of gratitude for Andy's willingness to serve our country. One in particular was from the wife of one of the recruiters who was inside the center when this happened. Along with her expression of sorrow about Andy's murder she also said that she would make certain that her children understand that their Daddy is alive today because of Andy's sacrifice. If Andy and Quinton were not in front of the center who knows how many people inside the center this terrorist could have killed or wounded.

To this day, our Commander in Chief - President Obama - refuses to acknowledge this attack for what it was - TERRORISM - instead when he called my Sister and Brother-in-law he called it a senseless tragedy!! What a bunch of double speak!! To minimize this attack because he was in the middle of talks with foreign leaders trying his best to use "diplomacy" to solve a problem that has NO CHANCE of being solved by diplomacy is ridiculous!! And by some “technicality” in the rules about how the Purple Heart medal is awarded there is a question about it being awarded to Andy & Quinton!

It's now a year later and the wheels of justice continue to turn ever so slowly. We are still waiting for the trial of this TERRORIST to start. It may start this June or it may not, the defense lawyer has been trying every trick he can think of to delay and stall the trial. We continue to hope to see justice served soon. Please remember to say a prayer for Andy and Quinton's families on this weekend and the anniversary of this terrorist attack on US soil as we all take time out to remember those who have already given their lives in the service of our country defending the freedoms we daily enjoy in our country.

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