In case you don’t know him, you should get acquainted with Abdul Amir. Or, to be more precise, get acquainted with his story.
Abdul Amir was a 30 year old Iraqi policeman, which means that he is a relatively new officer who doesn’t have the background of free elections, free government, liberty, value for life and a strict sense of equality that we Americans take so much for granted. Mr. Amir could only have remembered the tyranny of the Hussein regime where it was the rule of the strongest and most violent, not the rule of law. Sunday, January 30, 2005, Abdul Amir offered his life to ensure that his fellow countrymen and women had the opportunity to vote. He noticed a man carrying something heavy under his arm walking towards a polling station, Mr. Amir grabbed him and dragged him away from the group preparing to vote. The detonation of the homicide belt killed both men, one a thug, the other, a hero. Living in Baghdad, Abdul Amir could have had no doubt that his very heroic action would cost him his life, and perhaps only a razor thin hope he could disarm the thug. Who knows, Abdul is dead. I hope he is never forgotten, that his name is remembered in Iraq the way we remember our founding heroes. So far there are hopes to rename the school where he died after him, maybe even erect a statue.
May we all remember the many, many lives lost in pursuit of liberty, ours and theirs. May we never ever forget that peace is purchased by blood, that continuing freedom is bought by never relaxing vigilance, that liberty can only rise from the ashes of absolutism and tyranny, never from the smoldering remains, that the sword is not sharp for no reason and must be bloodied to be useful for those it protects. Lastly, may we never forget that self-sacrifice is the standard our Creator meant for us to follow.