Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Happy Veterans Day!
I'd like to thank my cousin Tony, his wife, DMurray, Brad, my dad, uncles, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and all the other men and women who serve(d) in our armed forces and protect our way of life everyday. It's because of you all that we can rest easy at night and enjoy the freedoms that we have. Thank you!
I'd also like to send my prayers to the families of those who were killed or injured in the attacks at Fort Hood. To die during battle on foreign soil is one thing, but to die at the hands of a fellow soldier at home is quite another - and very tragic. My thoughts are with them this Veterans Day.
Lastly, I'd like to add that I hope the families of those who lost loved ones at the hands of John Allen Muhammad and/or Lee Boyd Malvo feel a sense of closure after Muhammad's execution last night. Some say it's just another life gone, and that they'll never have complete closure of their loved one's death. Others say that since Muhammad got to see their father, sister, mother's last breath, so should they see his.
I try to stay away from polarizing topics on my blog - abortion, the death penalty, stem cell research, etc. Not because I don't have an opinion on those things, but because I don't necessarily know if there is a right or wrong one. Opinions are just that - opinions. And I respect anyone's views on these types of subjects, because they are usually dictated by our own set of standards or values, religious beliefs or personal experiences.
There was a time when I felt the death penalty was immoral and uncivilized. I felt it was just another way to murder someone...just legally.
But then again, I've never had any of my loved ones murdered by a sniper.
I used to think the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment.
But then again, I've never had a child of mine go missing, only to be found raped, beaten and dismembered in someone's living room...their head in a bucket.
When you hear stories like this, it reminds you that there is REAL evil in the world. And I personally believe that if you can hurt or kill a child, then you have a special place in hell waiting just for you. How you get there is the bigger question - do we wait for you to die naturally in jail to meet your doom, or do we help you get there sooner by executing you?
I don't have the answer to that, and my feelings about it change everyday. As a Christian, I believe in forgiveness and repentance. But sometimes, an eye for an eye sounds good too.
I remember feeling a sense of relief when the D.C. Sniper was captured. One of my best friends was living in the D.C. area at the time, and she was pregnant with her first child. I and her entire family were scared for her and her husband, and her husband told her not to leave the house. I can't imagine living in that type of fear, and you never think that something like that could ever happen to you.
When I heard Muhammad was sentenced to death while Malvo was to serve life in jail, I didn't think his punishment was cruel or unusual in that moment. I felt that if you shoot 22 people, and murder 15, then that is the punishment you chose. Just as he snuffed out the lives of innocent people, his life was snuffed out too. At least he saw it coming. Those other poor folks never did.
I don't feel differently now that Muhammad is dead. My day goes on the same as it would any other day. I say prayers for all of those affected by what he did, and I pray I (or anyone I know) never have to go through the tragedy of losing a loved one in such a violent way.
Regardless of my personal feelings on the death penalty today, my hope is that when one of the loved ones of any of the victims woke up this morning, they felt some sense of peace or closure...if only for a moment...if only for today.