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Today marks what would have been Robert E. Lee's 198th birthday.
Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star | Date published: 1/19/2005 | CALVIN E. JOHNSON JR., a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Posted on 01/19/2005 5:41:26 AM PST by meandog

Celebrate today the birth of a great American: Gen. Robert E. Lee

All the South has ever desired was that the Union, as established by our Forefathers, should be preserved, and that the government, as originally organized, should be administered in purity and truth.

--Robert E. Lee

KENNESAW, Ga.--Why do Ameri- cans continue to remember their past?

Maybe, because, it was a time when truth was spoken. Men and women took their stand to give us the freedoms we now enjoy. God bless those, in military service, who do their duty around the world for freedom.

The Hall of Fame for great Americans opened in 1900, in New York City. One thousand names were submitted in 1900, but only 29 received a majority vote from the electors. Gen. Robert E. Lee, 30 years after his death, was among those honored. A bust of Lee was given to New York University by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Let America not forget today, Lee's 198th birthday.

Lee was born at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County on Jan. 19, 1807. The winter was cold and fireplaces were little help. Robert's mother, Ann Hill (Carter) Lee, was also suffering from a severe cold.

Ann Lee named her son "Robert Edward" after her two brothers.

Robert E. Lee undoubtedly acquired his love of country from those who had lived during the American Revolution. His father, "Lighthorse" Harry, was a hero of the revolution and served as governor of Virginia and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Members of his family also signed the Declaration of Independence.

Robert E. Lee was educated in Alexandria. In 1825, he received an appointment to West Point Military Academy. He graduated in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit.

Lee wed Mary Anne Randolph Custis in June 1831, two years after his graduation from West Point. Robert and Mary had grown up together. Mary was the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington and the adopted son of George Washington.

Mary was an only child; therefore, she inherited Arlington House, across the Potomac from Washington, where she and Robert raised seven children.

Army promotions were slow. In 1836, Lee was appointed to first lieutenant. In 1838, with the rank of captain, Lee fought valiantly in the War with Mexico and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.

He was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1852 and is considered one of the best superintendents in that institution's history.

President-to-be Abraham Lincoln offered command of the Union Army to Lee in 1861, but Lee refused. He would not raise arms against his native state.

War was in the air. The country was in turmoil of separation. Lee wrestled with his very soul. He had served in the Army for more than 30 years.

After an all-night battle, much of that time on his knees in prayer, Robert Edward Lee reached his decision. He reluctantly resigned his commission and headed home to Virginia.
Arlington House would be occupied by the Federals, who would turn the estate into a war cemetery. Today it is one of our country's most cherished memorials, Arlington National Cemetery.

President John F. Kennedy went to Arlington shortly before he was assassinated in 1963 and said he wanted to be buried there. And he is, in front of Lee's home.

Lee served as adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and then commanded the legendary Army of Northern Virginia. The exploits of Lee's army fill thousands of books.

After four terrible years of death and destruction, Lee met Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, and the two ended the Civil War. Lee told his disheartened comrades, "Go home and be good Americans."

Lee was called Marse Robert, Uncle Robert, and Marble Man. He was loved by the people of the South, and adopted by the folks from the North.
Lee was a man of honor, proud of his name and heritage. After the War Between the States, he was offered $50,000 for the use of his name. His reply was: "Sirs, my name is the heritage of my parents. It is all I have and it is not for sale."

In the fall of 1865, Lee was offered and accepted the presidency of troubled Washington College in Lexington. The school was later renamed Washington and Lee in his memory.
Lee died of a heart attack at 9:30 on the morning of Oct. 12, 1870, at Washington College. His last words were "Strike the tent." He was 63 years of age.
He is buried in a chapel on the school grounds with his family and near his favorite horse, Traveller.
A prolific letter-writer, Lee wrote his most famous quote to one of his sons in 1852: "Duty is the sublimest word in our language."
On this 198th anniversary, let us ponder the words he wrote to Annette Carter in 1868: "I grieve for posterity, for American principles and American liberty."

Winston Churchill called Lee "one of the noblest Americans who ever lived." Lee's life was one of service and self-sacrifice. His motto was "Duty, Honor, Country."


2005


TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: civilwar; dixie; dixielist; generallee; happybirthday; relee; robertelee
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Deo Vendice!
1 posted on 01/19/2005 5:41:27 AM PST by meandog
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To: meandog

Interesting. I will have to read more when I have time. I know the history I have learned, but I am willing to learn "another side" of the story.

I remember hearing something about some people celebrating Robert E. Lee rather than Martin Luther King on the recent holiday, because the birthdays are so close together. No comment on that - it's too early in the morning to open that can of worms!


2 posted on 01/19/2005 5:49:50 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: meandog

General Lee, I have no division!"

3 posted on 01/19/2005 6:02:10 AM PST by zarf
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To: meandog
He was a great man who truly understood the word "Honor."
4 posted on 01/19/2005 6:24:48 AM PST by waiyu
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To: meandog
A Very Happy Birthday, General.

The battle may have been lost; the war goes on!

5 posted on 01/19/2005 6:26:32 AM PST by Logic n' Reason (Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin')
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To: meandog

Regardless of your stand on the civil war, you have to admit that General Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest patriots this country ever produced. I am not necessarily a student of the civil war, but if there are any Freepers out there that have not seen the Ken Burns documentary, you must see it. That documentary will shed more light on our Federal Republic than any thing. That part about Appomattox will tear your heart apart. The whole thing will put into perspective why this nation is unique on the earth!!! I dare you to watch without shedding a few tears.


6 posted on 01/19/2005 6:29:30 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: meandog

Remembering a good American. Rest easy, General and God Bless.


7 posted on 01/19/2005 6:51:01 AM PST by bd476 (God Bless those in harm's way and bring peace to those who have lost loved ones today.)
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To: Lekker 1

> one of the greatest patriots this country ever produced

Hmm. A man who fought *against* this country for a cause he knew to be wrong. "Patriot?"


8 posted on 01/19/2005 7:03:58 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: meandog

A military genius who, in my opinion, only made one mistake in judgment.


9 posted on 01/19/2005 7:05:38 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: meandog
And mine.

And Dolly Parton! :o)

10 posted on 01/19/2005 7:06:58 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: orionblamblam

Put a sock in it.


11 posted on 01/19/2005 7:09:41 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: eddie willers

What, I'm wrong? I was misinformed, and RE Lee actually fought *for* this country *against* those who would perpetuate slavery? Hmm.


12 posted on 01/19/2005 7:12:04 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: Tragically Single

Poing.


13 posted on 01/19/2005 7:13:13 AM PST by terabyte
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

And what a mistake that was. Never attack the center of the line if you have to cross a mile of open ground.


14 posted on 01/19/2005 7:13:13 AM PST by Rockiesrider
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

> only made one mistake in judgment

Picked the wrong side.


15 posted on 01/19/2005 7:14:13 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: meandog
Arlington House would be occupied by the Federals

Read: Arlington House would be stolen by the United States Government.

16 posted on 01/19/2005 7:14:53 AM PST by Publius Valerius
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To: orionblamblam
Picked the wrong side.

Exactly. From everything I have read, General Lee was a very honorable man. He just put his loyalty with his state rather than with his country.

17 posted on 01/19/2005 7:17:21 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: Rockiesrider
And what a mistake that was. Never attack the center of the line if you have to cross a mile of open ground.

Boy, that was a mistake. That was such a bad decision that I often wonder if Lee had had a mild stroke or something.

18 posted on 01/19/2005 7:22:02 AM PST by Snowy (Heaven is Reagan country now)
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To: orionblamblam

If Stonewall Jackson had lived. You would be taking your hat off to Dixie before football games. God bless Robert E.Lee a great American.


19 posted on 01/19/2005 7:24:12 AM PST by BigCinBigD
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To: terabyte
"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less." - Robert E. Lee, Commanding.

Rest in peace, Sir.

20 posted on 01/19/2005 7:30:16 AM PST by Terabitten (How many of them can we make die? Heather Alexander, "March of Cambreadth")
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To: meandog

Unlike Lincoln --Lee NEVER said anything against the african slaves--and Lee opposed slavery.Time the damyankees pardon a Great leader dont you think?


21 posted on 01/19/2005 7:31:23 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: orionblamblam; terabyte

From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/09/0907_smithgenlee.html :

One Sunday (just after the surrender at Appomatox Courthouse - TS) at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, a well-dressed, lone black man, whom no one in the community—white or black—had ever seen before, had attended the service, sitting unnoticed in the last pew.

Just before communion was to be distributed, he rose and proudly walked down the center aisle through the middle of the church where all could see him and approached the communion rail, where he knelt. The priest and the congregation were completely aghast and in total shock.

No one knew what to do…except General Lee. He went to the communion rail and knelt beside the black man and they received communion together—and then a steady flow of other church members followed the example he had set.



22 posted on 01/19/2005 7:33:13 AM PST by Terabitten (Live a life worthy of those who have gone before you.)
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To: BigCinBigD
If Stonewall Jackson had lived. You would be taking your hat off to Dixie before football games

Or if He'd have gone around the Union Left at Gettysburg, as Longstreet suggested. Classic Jackson tactics. The Cause was Just.

23 posted on 01/19/2005 7:34:30 AM PST by reloader (Shooting- The only sport endorsed by the Founding Fathers.)
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To: meandog
Way down on the levee
in old Alabamy
...

Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.

His legacy is a minstrel song that can't be sung today.

24 posted on 01/19/2005 7:38:37 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: StonyBurk
Unlike Lincoln --Lee NEVER said anything against the african slaves--and Lee opposed slavery.

Lee was, at best, mildly opposed to slavery. Let's not make him out to be something he wasn't.

Time the damyankees pardon a Great leader dont you think?

You're a bit late. Lee was included in Andrew Johnson's Christmas pardon in 1868.

25 posted on 01/19/2005 7:40:02 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: bd476

President Eisenhower kept a portrait of Lee in his Office.
when one poor fool questioned this act. Eisenhower wrote "Robert E.Lee ,in my estimation,was one of the supremely gifted men produced by our nation. "Ike then pointed out that until 1865 ,at least, the cause Lee
supported was Constitutional(and the Constitution has not
changed so I must ocnclude we no longer understand the written document) Ike continued,"A naiton of men of Lees
calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul."
Rest in Peace.Mr.Lee- A more patriotic American there never was.


26 posted on 01/19/2005 7:41:27 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: meandog

Deification of Lee is unseemly. Despite all his good points, he is, at the end of the day, a man who was responsible for the deaths of more loyal Americans than anyone other than Hitler.


27 posted on 01/19/2005 7:42:54 AM PST by Modernman (What is moral is what you feel good after. - Ernest Hemingway)
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To: BigCinBigD

Amen to that! Both Men were head and shoulders above any of our Nations leaders today. May God Bless them.


28 posted on 01/19/2005 7:43:00 AM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

As did a majority of Americans -when we were new.And
understood the US Constitution.


29 posted on 01/19/2005 7:43:43 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: StonyBurk
As did a majority of Americans -when we were new.And understood the US Constitution.

"The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes." -- George Washington, 1796.

But hey, what did he know?

30 posted on 01/19/2005 7:45:57 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Bluegrass Conservative; orionblamblam
He just put his loyalty with his state rather than with his country.

Keep in mind that the term in 1861 was united States.

Virginia was a sovereign State with an agreement with other sovereign states.

It would be much like if the United States (as it is now a sovereign country after the WBTS) pulled out of the UN and the UN went to war with us to prevent that secession.

Would you call G. W. Bush (or yourself) a traitor?

31 posted on 01/19/2005 7:50:28 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: Non-Sequitur

Well I agree with you-- I have heard that Lee inherited
slaves -but set them free(do not know -wasn't there) And
indeed Lee was included in the Pardon of 68 --but some like
that onion head who claims Lee was a traitor need be
reminded these were all Americans. And wasn't Lee related
to George Washington?Wasn't he from a respected family?
Was he not a Christian? I do not idolize him --but I
certainly give him credit -where credit is due.


32 posted on 01/19/2005 7:52:04 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: Modernman
a man who was responsible for the deaths of more loyal Americans than anyone other than Hitler.

The same could be said about Lincoln.

The victors write the history.

(and do notice that only a few whack jobs agree with your assertion)

33 posted on 01/19/2005 7:53:22 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: BigCinBigD

> If Stonewall Jackson had lived. You would be taking your hat off to Dixie before football games.

And if I was black? Would I be holding my masters hat to Dixe before football games?


34 posted on 01/19/2005 7:59:20 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: Tragically Single

> He went to the communion rail and knelt beside the black man and they received communion together

This is an example of why RE Lee is not so heroic. He *knew* that slavery was wrong, and he defended it nonetheless.

It's one thing to be on the wrong side... but to be on the wrong side and *know* it, and defend that position for political reasons...


35 posted on 01/19/2005 8:01:53 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: Modernman

I don't believe anyone is diefying General Lee, only offering respect that is due a great man.

"Despite all his good points, he is, at the end of the day, a man who was responsible for the deaths of more loyal Americans than anyone other than Hitler."

I believe that distinction belongs to old "Honest Abe".


36 posted on 01/19/2005 8:12:59 AM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: orionblamblam
This is an example of why RE Lee is not so heroic. He *knew* that slavery was wrong, and he defended it nonetheless.

The same argument could be applied to Colin Powell and abortion of the unborn (although IIRC Powell does defend abortion.)

As much as it may distress the writers of elementary level history books or their intended audience, issues are seldom black and white.

37 posted on 01/19/2005 8:15:34 AM PST by LTCJ
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To: Rockiesrider
"And what a mistake that was. Never attack the center of the line if you have to cross a mile of open ground"

With your flank exposed.

38 posted on 01/19/2005 8:23:38 AM PST by norton
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To: StonyBurk

Time the damyankees pardon a Great leader dont you think?


Just finished Victor Davis Hanson's "Ripples of Battle," in which (IIRC) he talks about how, after Appomatox,there was a move in Washington towards arresting Lee and Grant personally intervened to prevent it. (Yes, I know, that was Grant).

What I have always found fascinating are the stories of the contacts re-established among old West Point classmates and Army comerades after April, 1865. For example, General George Meade (commander of the Army of the Potomac 1863-65) wanted to pay his respects to General Lee. Grant had not invited him to attend the formal surrender, so Meade rode out on his own to Lee's headquarters. Lee did not initially recognize him, and after Meade introduced himself, Lee asked him how he had all that grey in his beard. Meade replied, "You have to account for most of it."


39 posted on 01/19/2005 8:25:48 AM PST by eddiespaghetti ( with the meatball eyes)
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To: meandog
Re: this article and the headline....How can the words "would have been" be used. Which human being either in those days or now could/can POSSIBLY live 198 years? Somehow the syntax or word usage seems odd. In fact, dead or alive, is it not in fact his 198th birthday?
40 posted on 01/19/2005 8:31:04 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (Anyone else see irony in prioritizing Iraq [w/no nukes] as N. Korea kept on making nukes [9 now] ?)
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To: orionblamblam

Rather than defending slavery, I would argue that he was defending States' rights of self determination. You may have noticed that the Constitution spells out exactly that form of govt.


41 posted on 01/19/2005 8:31:27 AM PST by jdub
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To: meandog

If Lee had taken command of the Union Army, things after the war would have gone a lot better for the South.


42 posted on 01/19/2005 8:57:45 AM PST by AxelPaulsenJr (Pray Daily For Our Troops and President Bush)
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To: Snowy
Lee was a student (self taught...) and admirer of Napoleonic strategy and tactics. These lessons, reinforced by success in Mexico, had not been sufficiently beaten out of him by the time of Gettysburg.

Just my theory... I bounced it off of a colleague (the Dean for Research at SIU-C and a man with a Ph.D. in history) and was met with a resounding "EXACTLY RIGHT!!"

43 posted on 01/19/2005 9:08:00 AM PST by ericthecurdog ("We are conservatives. This great Republican Party is our historical house. This is our home.")
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To: Snowy
Lee was a student (self taught...) and admirer of Napoleonic strategy and tactics. These lessons, reinforced by success in Mexico, had not been sufficiently beaten out of him by the time of Gettysburg.

Just my theory... I bounced it off of a colleague (the Dean for Research at SIU-C and a man with a Ph.D. in history) and was met with a resounding "EXACTLY RIGHT!!"

44 posted on 01/19/2005 9:08:45 AM PST by ericthecurdog ("We are conservatives. This great Republican Party is our historical house. This is our home.")
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To: meandog

"Today marks what would have been Robert E. Lee's 198th birthday."

Lee's childhood babysiter, Helen Thomas, said "Where are my pills? George Bush stole my pills!"


45 posted on 01/19/2005 9:11:02 AM PST by exile (Exile - Helen Thomas tried to lure me into her Gingerbread House.)
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To: jdub

> I would argue that he was defending States' rights of self determination.

I would argue that the *peoples* right of self determination is more important. And being enslaved *really* works against that.


46 posted on 01/19/2005 9:20:53 AM PST by orionblamblam
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: eddie willers

> Would you call G. W. Bush (or yourself) a traitor?

Depends. In your hypothetical, did GWB (or you) take an oath of allegience to the UN?

And also, the South didn't just seccede, they also launched a war. It was a mind-bogglingly stupid decision, ranking right up there with Pearl Harbor. The amazing thing was that the War Of Southern Aggression was as successful for the South as it was; as with Vietnam (and possibly Iraq in the future), the US had the overwhelming superiority in might and right, but was undermined by protestors and some poor military leadership.


48 posted on 01/19/2005 9:27:06 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: oldblackjoe

Well said.


49 posted on 01/19/2005 9:27:38 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: meandog

I am no student or expert on Robert E. Lee.

Still, I was in Savannah the other day and there was a conflict of some sorts concerning a portrait of the General. It seems that the Mayor decided to remove a couple of portraits from the city hall and this sparked some controversy which was reflected in the local newspaper's letters section.

I learned that Robert E. Lee was never a slaveholder, and that those slaves owned by his wife were released before Lee entered into the Civil War.

I never knew these things before and I was surprised to learn them. There were other claims made by writers of letters and I found the subject to be thought provoking. I intend to learn more about the man.


50 posted on 01/19/2005 9:29:35 AM PST by Radix (We are in a different type of war with a media which undermines the efforts of our Troops.)
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