Spann gave life to protect our freedoms

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2001

The death of CIA agent Johnny "Mike" Spann brought the realities of the war home to Alabama this week.

Spann, an Alabama native, was the first known U.S. combat casualty in Afghanistan. He was killed during a prison riot, although government officials will not provide any details about his death or the riot.

He is survived by his wife and three children, along with parents in Alabama.

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More important, Spann leaves behind a state filled with pride at his effort, and a state filled with empathy for his family.

The bravery shown by Spann and the thousands of other men and women fighting to protect our freedom and our democracy is inspiring. Their dedication to their county, their commitment to their cause, and their willingness to give all in the name of a good and worthy cause is the stuff of heroes. and we all do well to remember that.

Mike Spann and the thousands of other U.S. soldiers are fighting to protect our freedom, our democracy and our free economy. They are fighting to preserve our country and our way of life.

As we give pause to reflect on this young man’s death, we offer prayers of support and hope. And, we offer a reminder that one of the greatest tributes we can pay to the men and women fighting for our country is to keep our

nation, our patriotism and a spirit strong through this holiday season. We must continue to live our lives, to celebrate our

holidays, to love and to laugh, and to hope.

After all, that freedom to do just that is what Mike Spann was fighting to protect.  

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