My more liberal friends will excuse me for a moment if I offer this. Tonight's State of the Union was one of the most moving in recent memory. For almost two years, our nation has struggled with and debated the concepts of a just war, nation building, and the appropriate exit strategy from Iraq. Tonight, we witnessed the focal point of what we all have been debating. I quote two passages from the State of the Union:
"One of Iraq's leading democracy and human rights advocates is Safia Taleb al-Suhail. She says of her country, "We were occupied for 35 years by Saddam Hussein. That was the real occupation. Thank you to the American people who paid the cost, but most of all, to the soldiers." Eleven years ago, Safia's father was assassinated by Saddam's intelligence service. Three days ago in Baghdad, Safia was finally able to vote for the leaders of her country -- and we are
honored that she is with us tonight. "
"And we have said farewell to some very good men and women, who died for our freedom, and whose memory this nation will honor forever. One name we honor is Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas, who was killed during the assault on Fallujah. His mom, Janet, sent me a letter and told me how much Byron loved being a Marine, and how proud he was to be on the front line against terror. She wrote, "When Byron was home the last time, I said that I wanted to protect him like I had since he was born. He just hugged me and said, 'You've done your job, Mom. Now it is my turn to protect you.'" Ladies and gentlemen, with grateful hearts, we honor freedom's defenders, and our military families, represented here this evening by Sergeant Norwood's mom and dad, Janet and Bill Norwood. "
Janet Norwood, right, of Pfugerville, Texas whose son was killed in Iraq last year, is thanked by Safia Taleb al-Suhail, leader of the Iraqi Women's Political Council, during the State of the Union address Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
This moving moment between distant cultures, illustrates so completely, the justification and real meaning of what this war is about. The cost of Freedom is born of bittersweet pain. Thank you Norwood Family.