Worthy or not?
U.S. soldiers fight for cause

November 17, 2004

It is never positive when soldiers die in war. That is obvious, but needs to be said.

Also, it is never easy to justify a soldier’s death. It is even more difficult to defend when U.S. soldiers die in a war many Americans believe to be unjustified.

That explanation grows even more difficult once a soldier’s death hits home, as it did in Mount Pleasant with the death of Lance Cpl. Justin Ellsworth.

Never will this page consider the death of an American soldier a positive revelation. Quite the opposite actually: It is a sad, humbling reality of war.

Still, Ellsworth’s death must be put into context of many other aspects of the war in Iraq.

The mind of an American soldier in war is rarely one of pessimism, regret or hatred. Soldiers more often consider their mission one of national duty, pride and self-respect.

Soldiers understand their job is to fight wars — that is what each and every one of them sign up to do.

The mindset of many civilians is war is immoral, illegal and waged under the pretense of lies. With this view, it is no wonder that the American public has difficulty understanding the mindset of the U.S. Military and its soldiers.

It is true: An unfortunate side-effect to war is death.

During this war, 1,192 U.S. soldiers have died, 35 of them from Michigan. That number is bound to grow — probably today.

These deaths will never seem justifiable to many Americans. To others, however, the deaths of the soldiers are a sign the country is fighting for a just cause.

A cause, that unfortunately, is not shared by everybody.

So, are the deaths of soldiers “worth it” in the war in Iraq?

It is unknown what will happen in Iraq. But this we do know: An all voluntary army is waging war to save lives, grant freedoms and provide hope.

If that is not worthy, what is?

Last modified date and time: 01/17/2005 8:41