Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christopher Hitchens and Mark Daily

What if someone were to die, someone you never personally met, and then you found out that you had somehow influenced this person on their path, that eventually ended in their death?

In January of 2007, a young officer from Irvine, CA was killed in Iraq by and I.E.D. The day before he deployed, he wrote an essay on his MySpace page: "Why I joined." After his death this essay spread like wild fire on the internet, and was even eventually read on the Senate floor by Sen. John Cornyn mere weeks later.

An article about his life and death was published in the LA Times in February 2007. In it the journalist explains how Daily's views about the war in Iraq changed from someone who was sympathetic to the anti-war rhetorics, to someone who decided to join the Army to go "over there.":

Somewhere along the way, he changed his mind. His family says there was no epiphany. Writings by author and columnist Christopher Hitchens on the moral case for war deeply influenced him. A 2003 phone conversation with a UCLA ROTC officer on the ideals of commitment and service impressed him.

A friend of Christopher Hitchens forwarded him the article. Hitchens in turn wrote an article in in Vanity Fair about his guilt that he helped persuade a soldier to start on a path that eventually lead him to his death and Hitchens describes his subsequent relationship with that soldier's family. It's a beautifully written story about Hitchens' emotions, Mark Daily's life and legacy, and his family and their graciousness.


Blogger MQ said...

Wow. Moving, sad and eloquent. And it made me wonder, how can I raise two men like Mark Daily?

6:54 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Yeah, no doubt. Very nice. I actually had some of the very same thoughts when I read a piece about Pat Tillman. How do you instill those kinds of convictions in your kids? Amazing.

1:29 AM  

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