The first American death in Iraq this year was actually a guest blogger for the Rocky Mountain News. Maj. Andrew Olmsted was an avid blogger determined to make a difference in Iraq. His last blog entry at the News on Dec. 26 detailed the way his unit handed out gifts of clothing, food, personal hygiene items and toys donated by American citizens. His final post at AndrewOlmsted.com demonstrates his service, humor, and love of family.
“I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends,” he wrote. “But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.)”
He also has some poignant words about tolerance:
Believe it or not, one of the things I will miss most is not being able to blog any longer. The ability to put my thoughts on (virtual) paper and put them where people can read and respond to them has been marvelous, even if most people who have read my writings haven’t agreed with them. If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their political opponents rather than simply seeking to crush them. While the blogosphere has its share of partisans, there are some awfully smart people making excellent arguments out there as well, and I know I have learned quite a bit since I began blogging.
Rest in peace, Major. And God be with you and your family.