[Lott] This Sacred Season | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Lott] This Sacred Season

I urge everyone to remember our troops serving overseas during this holiday season, especially the many Mississippians who are deployed away from home and the 18 Mississippi families who have lost loved ones as a direct result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Our prayers must start with the remembrance of those whose holidays will be tempered either by separation or bereavement. Some Mississippians have been in Iraq for almost a year or more. That's a long time to be away from family, friends and familiar surroundings. Yet, these courageous men and women do so without hesitation or complaint.

In my years as your Senator, and as a citizen from a shipyard town that has made strong national defense a priority, I've interacted with many servicemen and servicewomen since our all-volunteer force was introduced 30 years ago. I've said many times and I fervently believe that America's armed forces today are among our best ever.

The highly motivated young people who comprise the backbone of our military force truly are taking their place as one of America's greatest generations. They've proven themselves with masterful performances in the War on Terror, liberating 50 million people abroad and protecting almost 300 million Americans here at home.

While the holidays are primarily a religious celebration, we must reflect on our freedom, too. The men and women in uniform absent from us this season make it possible for us to sit down with our families and reaffirm our values and our hope for the future.

The simple pleasures of cooking a turkey, singing Christmas carols, shopping, decorating, or going to the church Christmas cantata are out of the question in far too many nations which treat each of their citizens' activities with sinister suspicion. We cannot forget the little things we take for granted in America that remain the disdain of dictators and terrorists throughout the world.

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee with regular access to information regarding terrorist threats, I can tell you that our fighting troops are real life heroes and the most affective shield we have against some very dangerous enemies.

That shield of troops comes from among our own communities and neighborhoods. Units from Mississippi's National Guard which will be away this holiday season include: the 112th Military Police Battalion based in Canton; the 185th Aviation Group of Jackson; Company G 185th Aviation Group, Meridian; the 298th Corps Support Battalion, Philadelphia; the 114th Army Liaison Team, Greenville; the 1st Cavalry Division Rear Operations Center, Tupelo; the 238th Air Support Operations Squadron, Meridian; the 248th Air Traffic Control Squadron from Meridian and the 172nd Airlift Wing of Jackson. In addition to these forces, Meridian's 186th Air Refueling Wing makes regular commutes across the globe in support of our military's mission.

Communities which have lost either National Guard personnel or full-time military troops include Saucier, Jackson, Natchez, Utica, Booneville, Crystal Springs, Kokomo, Pricedale, Shubuta, Tutwiler, Picayune, Meridian, Columbus, Philadelphia, Hattiesburg, Southaven, Clinton and my own hometown of Pascagoula.

These are cities and small communities alike, from every part of our state. Yet as different as these places may be, they share the same sense of emptiness this holiday season. We all do. Mississippi remains a close, tight-knit community, and chances are, you know one or more people who are either serving overseas or whose loved ones may have been among those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Let us celebrate life and joy and the hope for peace on earth this holiday season, as we should. But first, let's take a moment to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the peace we enjoy in America and for which our neighbors still fight even during this most sacred season. (12/03/04)

Senator Lott welcomes any questions or comments about this column. Write to: U.S. Senator Trent Lott, 487 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 (Attn: Press Office)

Previous Comments

ID
86282
Comment

Oh, our dear Mr. Lott imparts upon us again his crap. Let me first make clear that I wholeheartedly agree that we ìremember our troops.î Each and every man and woman who is serving or who has served in any capacity in our armed forces should be thought of and never be forgotten. Soldiers have given life and limb. Families have lost countless members. I agree and believe that each person now or ever who chooses or is placed into these positions be thanked utmost and respected no end. Mr. Lott, however, has taken this sentiment and wrapped it up in a self- and politically-serving package and shipped it out to his constituents tied up nicely with a big, pretty red bow. Problem is, there is simply so much gravy that no one can even see the meat and potatoes of the truth on the platter. ------------- ìI urge everyone to remember our troops serving overseas during this holiday season, especially the many Mississippians who are deployed away from home and the 18 Mississippi families who have lost loved ones as a direct result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.î --Yes, thank you, we will. Not just during this season, but at all times. And while YOU happen to have time to think of them, why not spend a little time wondering-thinking-maybe, just maybe, if any of those children of those 18 Mississippi families would still be alive if they had been supplied the proper equipment, oh, I donít know, say, uh, .. to fight a war? ìSome Mississippians have been in Iraq for almost a year or more. Thatís a long time to be away from family, friends and familiar surroundings.î --Two words: Stop loss.

Author
Jen
Date
2004-12-09T12:45:38-06:00
ID
86283
Comment

con't from previous post.... ìYet, these courageous men and women do so without hesitation or complaint.î --What? Has Mr. Lott been away for a while? Some of our very own Mississippians serving proudly in Iraq chose to defy what they deemed as unsafe orders. Soldiers now are complaining directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Now, Rumsfeld has said he thinks ìitís goodî that ìordinary soldiers are given a chance to express their concernsÖ.î Gee, thanks. He also stated that, ìYou go to war with the Army you have,î Rumsfeld replied, ìnot the Army you might want or wish to have.î Ummm, OK. One more from Rumi, ìI donít know what the facts are, but somebody is certainly going to sit down with him [the soldier who complained} and find out what he knows that they may not know,î Rumsfeld said.Well, maybe he should talk to our own Mr. Lott, since the Senator IS a ìmember of the Senate Intelligence Committee with regular access to informationÖî But wait, our own Mr. Lott thinks our ìarmed forces today are among our best ever.îîÖ î Öî the most affective shield we have against some very dangerous enemies.î I say perhaps they would be an even better shield if they had, oh, I donít know, Ö shields? ìThe simple pleasures of cooking a turkey, singing Christmas carols, shopping, decorating, or going to the church Christmas cantata are out of the question in far too many nationsÖî --Let us all not forget, that there are many other nations, and many inside our own nation, who simply do not believe as Mr. Lott does. Just because these folks do not wish to put up a tree or max out their credit cards (these ARE the religious traditions, right?) to celebrate December 25, does not make them the next terrorists on the FBIís top ten list. To further, there are also many around the world who have not eaten the likes of a turkey in beyond decades. Maybe this year they will heap their Red Cross given rice (we are surely not helping them for fear of such things as they may be teaching anything other abstinence only programs to prevent AIDS) a little higher this December 25 in celebration. Maybe they will be granted an extra teaspoonful of water if the well is up and working. I highly doubt, however, they will be singing any cantata. And finally, let us just keep in mind how many more nations now look at our countryís ìactivities with sinister suspicionÖî than did just a few short years ago. ìMississippi remains a close, tight-knit communityÖî --One is a member of this community as long as you accept its dogma and accepted lifestyle, so forth and so on, I am guessing. Let us all look around and see that there are many more Mississippians, and we are distinctly varied and diverse. And be it now known that we in fact ARE working for one Mississippi communityÖa community of acceptance, peace, and loveÖ of helping handsÖand Mr. Lott, a community of honesty and truth.

Author
Jen
Date
2004-12-09T12:46:16-06:00
ID
86284
Comment

Hee! I stayed away from this for as long as I could. Thanks jen, for doing the Lott rant. His little letters are so bizarre.

Author
kate
Date
2004-12-09T14:27:50-06:00
ID
86285
Comment

Giggle. Kate, every time I post the column by The Senator Who Speaks for Each and Everyone of Us, I snicker to myself because I know the steam is going to start rolling out of your ears. He is certainly a relic of the past. Our Values, my foot. Jen's response is excellent, especially: And be it now known that we in fact ARE working for one Mississippi communityÖa community of acceptance, peace, and loveÖ of helping handsÖand Mr. Lott, a community of honesty and truth. Lock and load, girlfriend. It's time that we stand up and be heard. Mississippi's not just a place for bigots and demagogues and people who fear people not like them. We are not all alike. We value tolerance and diversity. And, no, Mr. Lott, we're not going anywhere.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-12-09T14:34:46-06:00
ID
86286
Comment

This is too much: "The simple pleasures of cooking a turkey, singing Christmas carols, shopping, decorating, or going to the church Christmas cantata are out of the question in far too many nations which treat each of their citizensí activities with sinister suspicion." While I know there are many readers of his column (printed elsewhere) who will nod approvingly and feel smug when they read this bizarre statement, it's this type of logic that both scares and deeply saddens me. Senator Lott: there are many, many citizens IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who, due to poverty and homelessness, will not know any of the 'simple pleasures' you mention. And there are many many others in this country who will celebrate the season in their own, non-protestant, non-christian ways. They, undoubtedly, will occasionally be looked on with suspicion. Come join us in reality, Senator Lott.

Author
Jay
Date
2004-12-09T15:25:00-06:00
ID
86287
Comment

Good point, Jay. This is the one that got me: Mississippi remains a close, tight-knit community, When has Mississippi EVER been "a close, tight-knit community" if you include people of color (which probably never occurred to the student of Strom Thurmond). And is it "close-knit" for people who don't agree with Sen. Lott? Or, are we (meaning anyone unlike Lott) just excluded as usual from the clique? Now, remind me just how many people voted AGAINST G. W. Bush in Mississippi in November? Lott really needs to stop speaking on my behalf. He is an elected official, yes, but this "our values" crap is insulting to Mississippians. We need to tell him who we are, not the other way around.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-12-09T15:40:02-06:00
ID
86288
Comment

Yeehaw... I do so love gettin' folks started... ;-)

Author
Jen
Date
2004-12-09T15:49:26-06:00

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