Allbooks Review International : Article

Memorial Day 2011: Two Names That Matter
by Walter Brasch

Unless you were in a coma the past few years, you probably know who
Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton are.
You heard about them on radio, saw them on television.
You read about them in newspapers and magazines, on
Facebook, Twitter, and every social medium known to mankind.
Because of extensive media coverage, you also know who
dozens of singers and professional athletes are.
Here are two names you probably never heard of. Sergeant
First Class Clifford E. Beattie and Private First Class Ramon Mora Jr.
They didn’t get into drug and alcohol scandals. They didn’t become pop
singers or make their careers from hitting baseballs or throwing
footballs. They were soldiers.
Both died together this past week from roadside bombs near
Baghdad.
Sgt. 1st Class Beattie, from the small rural suburb of
Medical Lake, Wash., spent 17 years in the Army, and was in his third
tour of duty in Iraq. On the day he was killed, according to the
Spokane Spokesman–Review, he had participated in a run to honor fallen
soldiers. Sgt. Beattie was 37 years old. He leaves two children, one of
whom was three weeks from graduating from high school; four sisters, a
brother, and his parents.
PFC Mora, from Ontario, Calif., a city of about 170,000
near Los Angeles, was in his first tour in combat. He was 19 years old.
“He was a very serious student, and education was important to him,”
Carole Hodnick, Mora’s English teacher and advisor, told the Ontario
Daily Bulletin. Hodnick also remembers him as having “a charisma about
him, and the students just fell in line with him.”
Clifford E. Beatttie and Ramon Mora Jr. were just two of the 6,049
Americans killed and 43,418 wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan in war the
past decade, the longest wars in American history.
You can’t know or remember all of their names. But you can
remember two.
Clifford E. Beattie. Ramon Mora Jr.
Two Americans. One near the end of his Army career. One not long out of
Basic Training. A White Caucasian and a Hispanic. Two different lives.
Two different cultures. Two Americans.
Clifford E. Beattie. Ramon Mora Jr. Killed together more than 7,000
miles from their homes.
As you prepare for Memorial Day barbeques, surrounded by
celebrity-laden news, remember the names of Clifford E. Beattie and
Ramon Mora Jr., and all they stood for. Theirs are the names that
matter.

[Walter Brasch is a social issues columnist and author. His next book
is Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution, available at
amazon.com and other stores after June 20. For more details, see
YouTube.]Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.
Latest Book: Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution
(www.greeleyandstone.com)
http://www.walterbrasch.com
http://www.walterbrasch.blogspot.com

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