At war#039;s close, homes still have empty seats

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2003

"In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment - yet, it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free."

So spoke President George W. Bush before a military crowd assembled aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln.

In a speech that could be described as expected, the American President declared the war with Iraq is over.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The President claimed victory for the United States and its allies in the struggle against Saddam Hussein.

But the President stopped short of declaring a victory against terrorism.

That war is not over, although the threat to our nation is somewhat abated with the fall of a regime slanted toward terrorism and against the United States.

We must remain vigilant, prepared, and - most of all - prayerful.

We will continue to have American military forces in the desert. We must secure and rebuild a free, democratic Iraq. Our nation's role is to now ensure that freedom is implemented.

The sacrifice our nation has made is great, but families all across the nation there are empty seats at the table.

There are still empty seats in Troy, too. One will never again be occupied.

We must continue to remember our friends, neighbors, fathers, brothers, husbands, and wives who are making this nation the greatest on Earth.