Christopher Hitchens Pens a Worthy Homage to an American Hero
In "A Death in the Family," which appears in the November issue of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens pens a worthy homage to the late Mark Daily, an American hero who was killed by an I.E.D. earlier this year while serving in Iraq.
Much to Hitchens' initial dismay, he discovered that Daily had been inspired in part by his writings on the justness of the war to enlist. However, as Hitchens got to know Daily's family and to learn more about this idealistic young man, he came to comprehend what, at times, feels like the incomprehensible. For Daily was no jingoist, but, rather, a liberal, in the true sense of the word, who understood that defending freedom, not only for Americans but for all people, is the highest honor.
At the ceremony for the scattering of Daily's ashes, Hitchens quoted the following passage from the last scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth, during which, as he puts it, "The tyrant and usurper has been killed, but Ross has to tell old Siward that his boy has perished in the struggle":
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt;As a writer who has received more than a few e-mails of support from members of our fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was incredibly moved by Hitchens' piece. It behooves all of us politicos and pundits to remain humble in the face of those who don't simply talk the talk, but who put their lives on the line to uphold civilization at its best.
He only lived but till he was a man;
The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.