Saturday, February 16, 2008

At Last, It Feels Like a New Day

by Katherine Curtis Stethem - February 14th, 2008 - New York Sun

The telephone rang early yesterday morning. My husband Patrick was leaving for work, having been kissed quickly and told to drive carefully. I hurried back to the kitchen to answer the phone before the ringing woke the children. The information delivered by the voice of a friend in tears took my breath and I raced back to the garage to find my husband.

Imad Mugniyah is dead."

Imad Mugniyah is, most tragically, a Stethem household name. His career of terror and exploits of destruction are well known to our family. One incident in particular is all too close to home. Imad Mugniyah was the
Hezbollah mastermind of the 1985 TWA Flight 847 hijacking during which U.S. Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem was brutally tortured and then murdered.

The memory of Robert's bravery and heroism during his ordeal was formally recognized and forever preserved for posterity in the commissioning of the USS Stethem, an Aegis class guided missile destroyer. The ship motto is "Steadfast and Courageous," a fitting tribute to this brave American son lost all too soon.

I remember the tears that welled up during the recounting of this braves mans torture at the hands of the terrorist Imad Mugniyah many years back. Israel has rid the world of an evil man. The determination and will of Israel are an example of what wins wars in the long run. It is not the pacifist who is always willing to talk with the terrorist who wins wars . . . or even ends wars. It is the heart of the warrior, who keeps fighting and seeking the end of the evil who keeps a nation free. They end wars with victory.

There is no greater quote about the warrior than the one uttered by George Patton in the face of some who were mourning the death of brave men, "Don't mourn that men such as these died. Thank God that men such as these lived."

God bless U.S. Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem. He was a man. He was an American. I am glad that the Stethem family can take comfort in resolution of the fate of his killer. I simply ask you to take a moment and pray that our nation continues to give us such citizens. It is the sign of a great nation that it creates great men and women. We must remain supportive of the ones who are carrying the battle for us this day. God bless them too.


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