I watched President Barak Obama on the Meet the Press national TV program. Not one word about the genocide of Catholics by Islamic terrorists. How can he not address this atrocity taking place in the Middle East?
Are American politicians afraid to speak out against the persecution of Catholics in Iraq and the Middle East? Sure looks that way. Maybe President Obama will talk about this "genocide" in his address to the Nation on Wednesday night.
That's what I said on Sunday at the Braintree, Massachusetts Disabled American Veterans Post.
The DAV event was a memorial and dedication to former Ladies Auxiliary DAV national Junior vice commander Ellen Marie Kirby Drogo. Her husband former DAV National Commander and Navy Seal Frank Drogo, whose deceased wife was being honored by the historic Town of Braintree. Frank Drogo said, "military service to our country has always been a major part of the Drogo and Kirby family DNA. We love and believe in what our country stands for."
Mayor Joseph Sullivan called Ellen Drogo one of Braintree's greatest friends the people of our community have ever had. It's people like Ellen and Frank who make this town special. They were never afraid to speak out."
Many National Veteran leaders and local political leaders were on hand for the special commemoration.
State Representative Mark Cusack said, "we are a community who believe in each other and our country."
Former National Vice Commander of the Ladies Auxiliary Mrs. Frances Costa told everyone how Ellen was always looking out for veterans families. Always there to help while their loved ones were serving abroad and when returning home from war. We were especially moved to hear Fran tell the story about when her granddaughter Nikki Marie Costa was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and her life expectancy was just 7 years. But through the dedicated efforts of Ellen Drogo, who contacted me when I was U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, and I immediately asked Pope John Paul II if he would pray for her and communicate his personal blessings for Nicki Marie Costa of Pepperell, who was suffering with Cerebral Palsy, and wasn't expected to live to be more than 7 years of age. But remarkably, this beautiful child is now a healthy 20 year old young lady. I told the gathering that when my first cousin asks you to do something, you do it. She did many quiet things to help veterans and their families.
But an equally significant conversation was when another highly decorated Korean War veteran said to me, "Ambassador, it was great to hear the priest at the memorial Mass at St. Clare's say today that next week a special collection will be taken up at all the churches to help all the persecuted Catholics in Iraq and the Middle East." "Yes," I replied, "they are being tortured and killed because of their Catholic faith, while the U.S. Government, the International community and the national media remains silent. This is not what you veterans fought and many died for. Where is the moral outrage?"
Earlier Sunday morning, I watched President Barak Obama on the Meet the Press national TV program. Not one word about the genocide of Catholics by Islamic terrorists. How can he not address this atrocity taking place in the Middle East? The President said he would address the Nation on Wednesday on national TV. I have written to him and our nation's political leaders, but unfortunately I have not received a response. If enough American's call the White House and members of Congress now, I am convinced that he will speak out on this critical issue. We can also pray that he does.
I would urge all Americans to immediately contact their elected officials and ask them to get involved in this "American shame." How much longer and will it be for Americans to speak out. If our political leaders are not with us, they simply don't understand the cherished fundamental values which America has always stood for. Defending and promoting fundamental human rights for all people.
Ellen Kirby Drogo and so many other heroes of the past would be on the phone fighting for people who are being persecuted for their religious faith in Iraq. This is genocide, and history will judge all leaders harshly for their silence and indecisive action.
Raymond Flynn is the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston.
- Raymond L. Flynn is the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and Mayor of Boston.
Recent articles in the Culture & Events section
The extraordinary gift of perspectiveMichael Reardon
The conversion of Father George Haskins -- Part IIThomas Lester
It ain't beanbagDick Flavin
Adapting mental health services to COVID-19Callie Armstrong
Games intellectuals playGeorge Weigel