The Wall Street Journal’s OpinionJournal

The Wall Street Journal’s OpinionJournal site carries two must-read columns from the paper today. The first is by Fox News anchor David Asman, about his immigrant stepson: “Felipe, U.S. Marine.”
The entire piece is excellent and moving, but this paragraph about the 4:00 a.m. parting of stepfather and stepson on the day of Felipe’s enlistment really caught me up short: “I…wasn’t convinced he knew exactly what he was getting himself into. Like many families with teenagers, we had been through rough times in the preceding years. Through all the lectures about responsibility and discipline and the standard nonresponse of rolling eyeballs, there were few moments of mutual understanding or tenderness. So when Felipe looked me square in the face and told me he loved me, I was completely caught off guard. It wasn’t just that I hadn’t heard that from him in years; this was an expression of love from a man who had a full measure of its meaning.”
One more paragraph particularly deserves attention and bears on the message Deacon posted from Dr. Marmer last week: “Felipe said something that should be considered by all those with children in the military. ‘I’m prepared to fight under any condition and fire practically any weapon,’ Felipe began. ‘And I’m not the target. You aren’t prepared for war and you are the target. So who should be afraid for whom?’ That simple wisdom stopped us cold. For a brief moment he had forced us to stop worrying about him and consider the risks of simply living in a free country.”
The other column, by Allan Barra, may be our final word on “Gangs of New York.” Barra cares about history, resents Scorsese’s liberties with it and, even better, rightly takes Scorsese to task for his portrayal of the Union Army. Reading Barra’s excellent column made me angry all over again, and I commend it to you because it adds an important dimension to the commentary on the film: “‘Gangs’ vs. Mob.”


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