Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

For the first time in I don't know how long, I missed a State of the Union address. It was coming on as we were leaving church last night and I will usually listen to things like this on the radio on the way home, but I guess I forgot about it, and anyway, I wanted a little auditory relief. Oldest had been assaulting us with her sing-along to the music she was listening to on her headphone, and I wanted some sweet silence. She actually can sing, but when she gets those headphones on and tries to sing like the CD, she sounds like the most horrible American Idol reject you have ever heard.

Anyway, we got home and I had to turn around after letting everyone out to go get gas in the van, and decided it was safe to finally turn the radio on. And realized the speech was on. And kicked myself for not having listened to it all. I came in on the very last part of the speech:

[...] The volunteers of our military are unrelenting in battle, unwavering in loyalty, unmatched in honor and decency, and every day they are making our nation more secure.

Some of our servicemen and women have survived terrible injuries, and this grateful country will do everything we can to help them recover. 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's 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.

In these four years, Americans have seen the unfolding of large events. We have known times of sorrow, and hours of uncertainty, and days of victory. In all this history, even when we have disagreed, we have seen threads of purpose that unite us.

The attack on freedom in our world has reaffirmed our confidence in freedom's power to change the world. We are all part of a great venture: to extend the promise of freedom in our country, to renew the values that sustain our liberty, and to spread the peace that freedom brings.

As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, "Each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth." And we live in the country where the biggest dreams are born.

The abolition of slavery was only a dream until it was fulfilled. The liberation of Europe from fascism was only a dream until it was achieved. The fall of imperial communism was only a dream until, one day, it was accomplished.

Our generation has dreams of its own, and we also go forward with confidence. The road of providence is uneven and unpredictable, yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.

Thank you, and may God bless America.

And then, the Democratic response.

America is indeed a country where the biggest dreams are born. Sadly, it is also a country full of fidgety, small-minded politicians, who seem to believe the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says is the same as argument.

The Marine Corp motto is Semper Fidelis. In a time that demands courage and perseverance, it too often seems that the Democrats have taken up the motto Semper Timidus.

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