"I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here."
G'Kar, Babylon 5
"Only the dead have seen the end of war."
Andrew Olmsted began the final blog entry of his life with these two quotes. Andy was killed in Iraq on Thursday, and he left this devastatingly beautiful and profound final piece with a friend, to be posted in the event of his death. Please take a moment to honor his memory, and to read the last post of this life. It is linked above and here. I read it last night, and it crushed me. And I think every single person in America should read it.
A very good man is gone. His death is a terrible loss for his family, the Army--and for our country. Andy was the epitome of the American citizen-soldier, and a hell of a good writer. He was honorable, thoughtful and incredibly articulate. And he served America not only as a soldier, but also as voice of conscience in these incredibly turbulent times.
I never met the man, but wish I could have. After you read the piece, I think it will be hard not to feel the same way. And my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. But I hope you will join me in doing what Andy asked us to do:
"So if you're up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw 'Freedom Isn't Free' from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can't laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I'm dead, but if you're reading this, you're not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.*"
Rest in peace, Andy.
(If you comment, please respect Andy's wish that his death not be politicized, and refrain from any political rants.)