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In Blame It on Obama News: Cory Remsburg and His Standing Ovation at the State of the Union Address

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment
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U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg received a standing ovation that lasted 99 seconds at Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address. Yes, I counted. Image via. The Atlantic.                                                  

For many Americans, Tuesday night’s State of the Union address had its most powerful moment of unification when the President used one attendee, U.S Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, as the symbol of American heroism and strength. Remsburg, a ranger who was partially paralyzed and blinded in one eye after falling victim to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, received a long, well-deserved standing ovation by those in attendance, including the President. The commander-in-chief compared Remsburg to the country: a man that “never gives up, and he does not quit.”      

But just a day later, writer Nick Gillespie claimed that the heart-tugging scene on Capitol Hill was “the most despicable… and…morally dubious,” moment of the President’s speech” Oh? According to Gillespie, Remsburg was merely part of Obama’s political tactics, which used Remsburg as prop  to ‘elide any responsibility, for placing,’ the young soldier in danger in the first place.

The writer pointed to the continuing war in Afghanistan as reason enough to overlook Remsburg’s heroism. Never mind the young solider was in a coma for three months and received a Purple Heart for this service,  “What exactly was Remsburg – or any of his fellow soldiers – fighting for in Afghanistan?” Gillespie wrote. “The president didn’t offer any explanation in his State of the Union address…”

Did the writer forget that the war didn’t start with Obama, or that the President told his listeners Tuesday night it will end this year? Somehow, this too, is Obama’s fault.

The recognition of brave Americans in State of the Union addresses is a trend that goes back three decades. In 1982, Ronald Reagan pointed out Lenny Skutnik, a U.S government employee who dove into the Potomac River to save a victim of the Air Florida Flight 90 crash.  In 1994, Bill Clinton recognized Jim Brady, former press secretary of Ronald Reagan who previously suffered a bullet wound to the head. In 1999, Clinton singled out activist Rosa Parks for her leading role in the civil rights movement saying so eloquently, “This journey began 43 years ago when a woman named Rosa Parks sat down on a bus in Alabama and wouldn’t get up. She’s sitting down with the first lady tonight, and she may get up or not, as she chooses.

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The recognition of brave Americans in State of the Union addresses is a trend that goes back three decades. Rosa Parks was pointed out in Bill Clinton’s 1999 State of the Union Address. Image via Google.

Gillespie has his reasons to be against the Afghan War. A recent USA Today research poll concludes that 52% of Americans believe that the U.S did not reach its goals, despite many of them believing we made the right decision to invade Afghanistan. Since its start in 2001, more than 20,000 U.S casualties have occurred.

But with more than 60,000 troops already home, we must ensure the President keeps his word, that more troops will come home this year, and no more American lives are affected by the war.

Nonetheless, the writer shamelessly shifted his attention to policy-making during what was supposed to be a celebratory moment of one our nation’s heroes.

That deep scar on the side of Resmburg’s head is not a prop. His arm brace is not a prop. The cane he used at the hospital to help him stand and do a salute is not a prop.

No matter what your position on the Afghan and Iraq War, You not as an American, but as a Human Being, have a duty to show respect, appreciation and gratitude to the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for your freedom.

Remsburg deserved all 99 seconds of that standing ovation. Perhaps the writer wanted the opportunity to troll.

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