Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Publisher’s Memo: Families and soldiers sacrifice during war

November 26, 2003

In last week's edition of The Mirror, news editor Lisa Scheller wrote a compelling story about the families of men who are serving in the military.

The account centered on how those family members are coping with their fears and concerns as U.S. soldiers continue their work in Iraq. And through Scheller's writing, we were able to gain a new perspective on the difficulties of war.

How hard it must be for families to even glimpse at news reports from the Middle East. How hard is must be to hear that soldiers have been shot out of the sky or gunned down on a remote road -- or as they did one of any number of everyday tasks.

It's almost unimaginable what it must be like for these families, who live not only in Leavenworth County but across the United States.

And yet, in this 2003 war, many families keep in touch with their soldiers by talking on the telephone or by exchanging e-mails. And that must provide a great deal of comfort.

As I read Scheller's vignettes about soldiers and their loved ones, I couldn't help but think about men who served during World War II, for example, and how isolated they must have felt from their families. The last thing a foot soldier in France could do was call home. And e-mail, of course, wasn't even a topic of Bill Gates' dreams. Those must have been lonely, lonely days for those young men.

But I would imagine the soldiers of today would tell us that they, too, have found loneliness in war. And while e-mails and photographs and talks on the phone all help cut into that isolation, they are not a substitute for day-in and day-out contact with their families.

As we approach Thanksgiving and, soon, Christmas, it's only natural to think of our soldiers and the sacrifices they are making for us and for our country.

We appreciate their time and their talents. We hope they are able to mentally and physically hold up to the rigors of war. And we hope they come home soon to their families.

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