Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Captured son

The ongoing war on terrorist groups in Afghanistan came home to the Wood River Valley this week when residents learned that Army Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl had been captured and is being held by a group associated with the Taliban.

The Taliban is the group of Islamic fundamentalist militants that controlled the Afghan government and gave safe harbor to al-Qaida, the group that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people when its members flew jumbo jets into the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

July has been one of the deadliest months in the eight-year struggle to root out terrorists in Afghanistan.

The signs in windows of valley businesses, homes and cars, and the yellow ribbons tied on trees up and down the Wood River Valley say it all: We want Bergdahl back safe and sound.

Everyone in the Wood River Valley is disturbed about his capture and about the Taliban-scripted video of the young man released early this week. Everyone shares his family's concern about his safety. With the family in seclusion, it's difficult for the community to express its support and heartfelt wishes, but they are part of every ribbon and sign.

Bergdahl is one of the thousands of courageous young Americans who answered the call to protect and defend our nation against enemies who prefer inflicting terror to abiding by the will of a people expressed through a ballot box.

As a means to undermine American resolve to continue to confront terrorism, the video failed miserably. It inspired only the disgust so well articulated by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It inspired only solidarity in a community that values democracy, hates terror and wants to see all soldiers returned to the embrace of family and friends.

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