Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

I heard Colin Powell’s eloquent comments about Senator Obama’s candidacy and his own rather stunning endorsement. General Powell’s eloquence didn’t stop there. As a direct descendant of the Buffalo Soldiers, Colin Powell knows the sting of racism and bigotry that is rampant not only in America but elsewhere too. Usually it is the those who bear the wounds that have a message for us all and yesterday General Powell’s endorsement was really overshadowed by the story he told about a brave young American soldier who happened to be a Muslim. Until yesterday I’d never heard of Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. Somehow his name didn’t make the evening news and yet his sacrifice was more than worthy of it. Like the Buffalo Soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen, the 442nd Regimental combat team, and the Navajo code talkers, Kareem served a country that is still struggling to accept him. He died for a country that is struggling to overcome racial and religious bigotry. Like those who served before him, Kareem was bold and brave, perhaps his sacrifice and his story can bring healing to our troubled land.

Winter Soldier

On Sunday I found myself inside a church on Jamestown Island in Virginia. The church is a replica of the original that stood on that ground in the early 17th century. Posted at the front of the church were the Ten Commandments. One of them stated, “you shall not kill.” How often we hear reference to the Ten Commandments and how posting them would restore value to our society and our country. More important than posting them is having them written in our hearts. This soldier’s testimony is more poignant than posting the commandments. Apparently certain values were written on his heart at one time and no amount of military training can permanently remove them. Watch the video here.