Monday, July 13, 2009

Remembering Tony Snow, Patricia Buckley Bozell, and Staff Sgt Eric Linstrom

UPDATED BELOW:

I'm a big fan of Tony Snow...I use the present tense, even though Tony died a year ago yesterday (July 12th). I go back over his writing from time to time to recall what we mean by "decent", "honest", "fair", and "principled" when these words are used to describe the president's press secretary. Many people ask if we are related, and, sadly no, we are not. But I always had the feeling that he was talking to me when he was answering a question or giving a speech. Tony had that gift...to talk without being preach-y, and to get to the point without flourishes. Would that I could speak half as well.

Patricia Buckley Bozell also died a year ago on July 12th. She was the sister of William F Buckley, Jr. I had no occasion to meet her or to know her, but I hear she was all class. I did meet her son Brent III in the Reagan National Airport early in 2008. I have been a big fan of his for years, and he also went to college in Dallas, so we may have met before that day at National. I simply introduced myself and told him I was a fan. He was gracious and courteous...unlike how I would be if interrupted in the middle of a quick meal before a flight.

Later that afternoon, I was in the security line (a long one at National, as usual). Brent came up to the front of the line, and started asking folks if he could go ahead, as his plane had been changed and he would miss it if he didn't go through immediately. I doubt most people recognized him (no insult to Brent; I simply heard many say "glad I'm not in his shoes" instead of "wow, there goes Brent Bozell!"). When he asked the assembled crowd if it was ok to go to the front, I joked "sure...for five bucks". He had this panicked look on his face, but then he recognized me from earlier and waved a friendly wave, and called me by name. Now, how many folks do you get introduced to in a week for the first time where you remember his or her name? I was impressed. I didn't even buy him a beer!

The US lost one soldier yesterday. He or she has not been identified as of this writing.

UPDATE:
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Eric J. Lindstrom, 27, of Flagstaff, Ariz., died July 12 near Barge Matal, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his dismounted patrol using small arms and indirect fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.
For more information media may contact the Fort Drum Public Affairs Office at (315) 772-8286.
RIP SGT LINDSTROM. I will remember you each and every day, but especially on July 12. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice to keep us free.

I'm telling this story because my birthday was yesterday, and I now associate that day with these four people...Tony Snow, Patricia and Brent Bozell, and that unknown soldier (I'll update this post when I learn the name of the soldier). These are not happy thoughts, but grateful, and not maudlin. I simply recalled yesterday that while we were celebrating, there were not a few families who have sad memories of July 12th. For those, we say a prayer on my birthday. Then we make a toast to those friends and family present and gone, and celebrate life!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My name's Seton Motley, I work for Brent Bozell and it was my Birthday on July 12, too. ;-)

Vince said...

Thank U for sharing...
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Vince

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