Sunday, August 14, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Also Speaks For Future

As I watch Cindy Sheehan mourn the loss of her son, Casey, I can't help but look at my own eight-year-old son and, no matter how horrible the thought may be, try to imagine the profound nature of her pain.

And I can't.

When I look at the things I have enjoyed with my little boy over the last week – from food shopping to watching a movie to going swimming in our neighborhood pool – I can only try to infer the sheer volume of the memories I will accumulate by the time he reaches 18 years.

I can only imagine the magnitude of the loss Cindy Sheehan has sustained.

At the age of 48, I know how quickly a decade passes. I know how soon my son will be old enough to confront the idea of service to country and I know it won't be long before the realities of America's foreign policy come home to roost in our household.

So I do not view Cindy Sheehan in the vacuum of a courageous mother demanding answers in the loss of her brave son. I know her fight is bigger than roasting in the Texas sun while she awaits the attention of our cowardly president. And I understand that the awareness she is bringing to the impact of dishonest government and a deceitful national leadership will have a lasting effect on our country.

I know that, in addition to fighting in her son's memory, she is speaking for my son as well.

Bad foreign policy has a way of spawning offspring of its own and I have no doubt that the path George W. Bush has taken us down will not be easily reversed. What world will we see in 2015, when my son is old enough to be taken from me?

Will it be a world where America is despised, where we continue to be locked in a struggle with the Iraqi people and, if we allow a Republican successor to Bush, a world where we are also at war with Iran or North Korea? Will the United States have any allies left or will even Great Britain have abandoned us as an untrustworthy friend with questionable stability?

I believe we can do better – and so does Cindy Sheehan.

Which is why, if Camp Casey moves to Pennsylvania Avenue in a few weeks, I'll be there. Cindy's struggle is not just to ease her grief and to attain some degree of closure for why her family has suffered such a terrible loss. It is also a fight for the next generation and, in my own little world, for my son's future as well.

And, for that, Cindy Sheehan's voice is very loud indeed and will continue to stretch much farther than one hot August in Crawford, Texas.