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The Ultimate Gift, The Ultimate Sacrifice
Submitted by Bill Ponath on Thu, 01/06/2011 - 18:13
The United States of America suffered a terrible loss on December 14, 2010 when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in service to his country. The news services have provided balanced coverage concerning this hero's funeral, but I have had the pleasure to gain a little more insight that the public may not yet be fully aware of.
The Tea Party Patriots of Phoenix, Arizona saw fit to send Lee Earle; an honored veteran of the Vietnam war, to the funeral to pay our respects. Mr. Earle delivered letters of condolence to Mr. Terry's family both from the Tea Party and from Senate President Russell Pearce. He also had the privilege to observe a number of interesting messages concerning this great loss.
It is very hard to properly assess the number of officers who attended this funeral from across the nation. As many as could fit were crowded into the Greater Grace Temple and stood at absolute attention for the entire service with one exception; the time that Janet Napolitano stood to read from her script. At that time they stared at the floor.
Please understand the solemnity and sincerity of the occasion. Alan Bersin is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner. He had never met Mr. Terry but gave a long and very eloquent speech specifically detailing the bravery and undaunted commitment that Brian Terry gave to his country. He knew the names of every member of Mr. Terry's family and was able to specifically discuss every act of bravery during his many years of service to our nation. He did not have any hand-written notes and he never paused. A letter written by Mr. Terry was read by Michigan State Police Sergeant Dan Bowman. That letter began with an acknowledgement "If you are reading this then I must have died in the line of duty." It went on to say "I do not fear death, for I have been close enough to it on enough occasions that it no longer concerns me. What I do fear is the loss of my honor, and would rather die fighting than to have it said that I was without courage."
Janet Napolitano responded to these accounts of bravery and honor by using the occasion as a political platform for Mr. Obama. She said to a KGUN reporter "He's (Obama) done more in the last two years than any other president." She neglected to use the opportunity to bring to light only one example of what Mr. Obama has done. Kent Terry; Brian's father, said "You gotta wake up your man in the White House." Barack Obama did in fact send a hand-written note to Mr. Terry's family, but he was unable to attend the funeral due to more pressing responsibilities: he was making telephone calls to promote Michael Vick's status for the Pro Bowl and potential MVP honors. We are grateful that he has his priorities in order.
The procession of cars form the Temple to the gravesite was six miles long. Every inch of the roadway for the procession; despite the cold weather, was lined with Americans standing to pay their respects to this fallen hero. There were soldiers, police officers, firepersons, and ordinary people of every walk of life; and they were sometimes three and four deep.
Mr. Terry is not the first brave American to be lost in border violence. Agent Michael Gallagher lost his life in September, 2010 and private citizen Robert Krentz was killed because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time: his home. We as Americans have a responsibility to say "enough is enough."
There are two tremendous fears that I hold concerning the border. The second greatest fear is that an innocent alien simply trying to enter the U.S. will be mistakenly killed by our border security; despite the fact that they are always under attack by border bandits such as those who killed Mr. Terry. The greatest fear that I have is that we may lose another brave soldier or even a private U.S. citizen based upon the mismanagement of the border and immigration control by the Obama administration. The solutions are clear: (1) Stop the entitlements that act as lures to illegal aliens and cause hundreds of billions in losses to our nation and to private citizens; (2) Give our brave soldiers the discretion to use firearms and other weapons as necessary to protect themselves and our great nation. The illegal aliens will no longer try to cross the Sonoran Desert when there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and our brave soldiers will be able to direct their efforts at the proper targets rather than be checking tickets for admission.
To the family of Brian Terry; I am very sorry for your loss and I am grateful for the privilege of living in the United States of America; a nation that would not and could never have existed had it not been for the incredible sacrifices and commitments made by Mr. Terry and many others. I pray that our leaders will hear your son's cries and act responsibly. We owe him that.