Photo of mother at gravesite referenced by Colin Powell endorsement of Barack Obama

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The photo Colin Powell referenced in his endorsement of Barack Obama.  The photo of mother at her son's gravesite, a young man, 20 years old, soldier from Fort Lewis, killed in Iraq, awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  Emblem on his gravesite is not the Christian cross, the Jewish Star of David, but the Muslim Crescent and Star.  Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Cpl., U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom, was an American who was 14 at the time of 911.  He waited until he was of age to enlist in military to serve his country (United States of America) and he gave his life for his country...the United States of America.  
(edited to add Colin Powell was referencing a soldier from Fort Lewis - Tacoma, WA)

[update] from Tacoma News Tribune blog - FOB (Forward Operating Base), titled 'Death of Fort Lewis soldier resonates with Powell' posted by Scott Fontaine, Oct 20, 2008

Khan served with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, a unit of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. He and three others were killed Aug. 6, 2007, when bombs exploded in a housing they were clearing in Baqouba, Iraq. Just hours earlier, the four were on a humanitarian mission, ensuring food and relief supplies were delivered to women and children in the city northeast of Baghdad. He was 20.
[end update]


excerpt from the transcript of Colin Powell endorsement speech on Meet The Press today


I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine.  It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave.  And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone.  And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death.  He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith.  And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey.  He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.  Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way.  And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know.  But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.


Video of Colin Powell's endorsement speech of Barack Obama at Meet the Press today - Sunday, Oct 19, 2008.



There is much to be mined from Colin Powell's speech that might resonate more strongly with others.  Colin Powell, with this reference, eloquenty elevated a truth and reality of the constancy of our country's relationship to the Iraq war.  I wanted to take a moment to share in elegance that truth, that reality, amidst all the background noise of the Presidential campaign.


It is not useful for me to editorialize or restate using my lesser words that which Colin Powell has brought into perspective with his own words.  I hope, readers, you will take time to listen to Colin Powell and hear the words for yourselves.

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