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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Letter from a Soldier's Mother

Many Americans have been outraged by Karl Rove’s words delivered at a New York fundraising speech. Twin Tower families, Op Ed pages and blogs have exploded with fiery opinion.

I haven’t wanted to add to this vocal outcry, because so much has been said by so many who are more qualified to speak. However, through serendipity, I have received an email in my box from Celeste Zappala, the Philadelphia mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker who was killed in action in Iraq on April 26, 2004. She is a member of Gold Star Families for Peace, as are Lila Lipscomb, mother of Sgt. Michael Pedersen who was killed in Iraq, and Sue Niederer, mother of Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, also killed in Iraq. Lila was featured in Fahrenheit 911 and Sue was arrested after speaking out at a Bush campaign rally. Their stories are more public than those of most mothers of Iraq War soldiers, but they all share a similar fate. Many have spoken out against the Iraq War and many were also outraged by Mr. Rove’s words. With her permission, I’m sharing her letter with you.

This letter was in response to an email about John Kerry's speech on the Senate floor that Lila had shared with her friends and fellow GSFP members.
Yesterday I tried to call Karl Rove at the White
House, you will not be surprised to learn that they
were insulting and snippy to me and I could not get
through to his office. The comment line was as close
as I got and they were clueless as to why the
switchboard would not transfer me to the public
servant known as Mr Rove.

If I had reached him I would have asked him as he
blathered about how anxious and proud the
conservatives were who jumped at the chance to have a
war, - where are they now on the streets of Baghdad?
My son was a very liberal Democrat. When he signed up
for the National Guard no one asked, when he was
deployed no one asked his opinion or his politics, and
after he lost his life protecting the people looking
for those weapons of mass destruction, no conservative
hawk came forth to take his place. Nor have they lined
up at recruiters offices to answer the needs of our
exhausted Army.

I hope Mr Rove will show his true colors and sign up
for a guard unit, no one is too old now, Pennsylvania
guards men in their 50s are serving. If he is too busy
slandering half the people in this Country perhaps he
could send a child he loves dearly to take my
Sherwood's place?

I hope others will ask these questions of Mr Rove and
his friends, maybe their calls will get through.
Celeste Zappala, Philadelphia
Mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, KIA 4/26/04

Celeste, thank you for putting into words the feelings shared by so many confused, angered and betrayed REAL Americans.

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