Always, following 9-11, our duty was to capture Osama bin Laden for the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated and carried out, and it has finally happened. It has happened; and that is correct. Our soldiers, our intelligence agencies and our allies are all to be thanked most sincerely for their unwavering persistence. All around the world those who have lost their lives as a result of Osama bin-Laden’s and al-Qaida’s actions are to be remembered and mourned, as they always are, but now expressly at this moment at the news of bin Laden’s death. The precious souls of the 3,000 people, of all faiths, who died in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania are near us again. As we opted for war and invasion in our effort to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, we mourn again at this time all of the lives lost by our brave soldiers. We mourn all of the lives lost in the nations where these wars were, and are, being waged.
These next weeks will be dangerous weeks for those who are in the path of anger and retribution for this most necessary capture of bin Laden’s body. We must be vigilant, and we know we can count on our soldiers to protect those in danger.
Peace Front Interview with Becky Lourey, a three-part series.
This is Paul Ogren, bringing you a poignant, first-hand look at the most horrific costs of war. Today, my guest interviewee is Becky Lourey, whom I got to know as our political paths crossed in the Midwest. In 1990, she was elected to serve in the Minnesota House; she later served in the state Senate for a total of 16 years. She also ran for governor in 2002 and 2006.
In 2005, Senator Lourey received the sad distinction of being the highest ranking public official in the entire United States to lose one of her own offspring on the battlefield. Her son Matt, Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army, was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. On May 27 of that year, his helicopter came under enemy attack and crashed at Buhriz, Iraq.
Q: Welcome to The Peace Front, Becky.
From the Publisher – Askov American
I was standing at the kitchen sink, a towering pile of dishes before me, my hands soaked and the end nowhere in sight. My kids were just toddlers, tumbling and bumbling around the kitchen at my feet.
Slowly and quietly, the front door creaked open.
"Grandpa Dal!" Stuart blurted, speeding toward our unexpected guest. My husband Tony's father, Gene, stepped cautiously into the kitchen as his grandsons ran to his feet, calling out his nickname, Dal, a shortened version of his middle name, Dallas.
Dal looked down and chuckled, offering a quick tease that sent the boys running and giggling, only to come back begging for more.
"Ah, yeah, hey," Dal said, nodding my way, in his characteristic, roundabout fashion. "Yeah, I was just driving by and, you know, you said you were thinking about raising goats, and, well, I have these books."
Under his arm was a stack of books, magazines, and flyers. From the top he pulled a green, clothbound copy of the 1903 "Angora Goat Raising and Milch Goats," tapping the cover with his finger.
Gene's grandchildren gathered dirt and autumn leaves from a trail he built on the family property in Kerrick, and visitors Thursday were invited to take some home.
By Joel Kramer | Friday, Oct. 17, 2008
The population of Bruno, Minn., is barely 100. But about 1,000 people, from local residents to state legislators and a congressman, stood in line at the old elementary school Thursday to hug former state Sen. Becky Lourey after the unexpected death last weekend of her husband, Gene.
Gene, known to his family and friends as Dal, was as shy as Becky is gregarious. But they were twins in their passion for social justice. You can read about his life in this compelling obituary in the Duluth News-Tribune.
Laurie and I became friends with Gene and Becky in 2002, when Becky asked me to be her running mate in her unsuccessful effort to win the DFL nomination for governor. They have been strong supporters of MinnPost, and Becky serves on our Greater Minnesota Advisory Group.
Lourey makes powerful witness
August 24, 2005
Thirty-five years ago, the antiwar movement was typified by a long-haired, scruffy young male of draftable age, burning his draft card.
A new antiwar movement was born this summer on a Texas roadside. It presents a much different face -- feminine, older, wiser, and filled with grief and righteous indignation. The face is that of mothers who lost sons and daughters in Iraq, first Cindy Sheehan of California, and then others, including Minnesota state Sen. Becky Lourey.
The moral authority of the blossoming movement's face is undeniable and, despite concerted conservative efforts to discredit it, unassailable. Sheehan and other Gold Star mothers have the right to express their sorrow and anger as they see fit. To these mothers' credit, they see fit to grieve in silence no longer.
Their witness is that stubborn adherence to a failed policy is not patriotism, and that the sacrifice of fallen sons and daughters is not dishonored by an admission that their assignment was flawed, and needs revision.
Photo by Nick Vlcek for City Pages
Granted, Lourey's two bids for governor are textbook examples of how not to get elected to higher office. To her credit, the now retired state senator from Kerrick has always been more interested in good policy than easy politics. You know how no one ever says good fish tastes "fishy"? It's kind of like that with politicians—a good politician isn't too political. Lourey's adherence to principle was never plainer than when the Minnesota Senate voted on a bill to prohibit protesters from disrupting funeral services. The measure was targeted at that creepy "God Hates Fags" religious outfit from Kansas that weasels free media by making asses of themselves at services for the war dead. As much as anyone, Lourey had emotional motivations to support the ban. Her son Matt Lourey, a helicopter pilot, was killed in Iraq. But Lourey also has an above-average appreciation for the Constitution and free speech, and little appetite for pandering. The result? When the time came for members of the Senate to cast their votes, there was just one dissenter: Becky Lourey.
Can a gun–toting Gold Star mom and state senator topple Tim Pawlenty?
by Britt Robson
The Health Care Security Plan offered by candidate for Governor Becky Lourey received strong praise in a critical analysis offered this week by Pulse alternative newspaper publisher Ed Felien.
In the compare-and-contrast piece, Felien stated: “Becky Lourey staked out the high ground early. She has been clear in her support of a single payer system through expansion of MinnesotaCare. This would be a gradual expansion that would create the least disruption and crunch on the State treasury. It would allow Minnesota corporations and small businesses to offer MinnesotaCare to their employees. This is the most comprehensive, practical proposal of any of the candidates.”
“It is very gratifying to receive wholehearted support for my health care plan from Ed Felien and the Pulse newspaper,” Lourey said. “My realistic plan will lower costs and can bring us to universal health care by 2010. As people look closely at my Health Care Security Plan, they invariably conclude that I am very serious about effective health care reform and cost control.”