Trump and the Fallen

Capt. Humayan Khan

Capt. Humayan Khan

Many firefighters feel a special veneration for Americans who have given their lives in service to our country.

Perhaps that’s because in some very small way they understand the tension and force of danger and pushing beyond it.

Thousands of brave soldiers have been taken from us either in their absolute prime or just on the cusp of it.

They leave behind spouses, young children and parents wholly unprepared for the devastation of their child dying before them.

Abraham Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural Address as the Civil War was grinding to a finish, immortalized our collective responsibility to those left behind.

We must, “…care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”


Army Captain Humayan S.M. Khan

American political conventions may be pageants of a sort but they are also showcases where we highlight ideals or beliefs we cherish.

And so it was in Philadelphia when Khizr and Ghazala Khan were invited to talk about their son, US Army Captain Humayan S.M. Khan.

Captain Khan was  killed on June 8, 2004, in Baquabah, Iraq, when a vehicle with a bomb rammed and exploded into the gates of his compound.

Captain Khan’s father was the most powerful reminder possible that in America we do not judge based on someone’s appearance, name, religion, etc.

In America, it’s what you do that matters.

And Army Captain Humayan S.M. Khan died serving our country.

By Abraham Lincoln’s powerful standard, to all those who grieve for Captain Khan and feel the pain of his loss, we owe comfort, respect and deference.

Trump’s Scorn

In repeated acts now hardly surprising, Donald Trump has turned the party of Lincoln on its head by heaping scorn on Captain Khan’s parents.

Trump’s show of respect to the elder Khan was to say about him, “Probably looked like a nice guy to me.”

He has questioned whether or not Mr. Khan’s words were his and suggested that Mrs. Khan was silent because of her religion.

Those remarks by Trump are both evil and vile as is his suggestion that by “building great structures” he has also made sacrifices.

Donald Trump annihilates and pulverizes our ethos of reverence for the fallen.

Both Proud and Ashamed

I am extremely proud of Khizr and Ghazala Khan as they speak out to remember and defend their son and to remind us all of what we are supposed to be about.

Trump’s reaction to them also proves that it is no longer acceptable to either defend him or to remain silent about him.

He must be repudiated by all who believe in the greatness of a country that is built upon equality, human dignity and respect.

Lastly, I feel shame for my union, the IAFF, because our leaders have stood silent while so many other union leaders have spoken out forcefully against Trump and his hate.

Where Trump is concerned the silence and cowardice of IAFF leaders has fed a monster who reviled a fallen patriot and his family.

Pass It On:  Remember Captain Khan and His Family





  • Smitty says:

    I confess, Eric, I don’t understand why it is so difficult for Harold and the Union to come out in favor of Hillary Clinton. It’s not a tough choice: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Seriously? Are we supposed to believe that the IAFF can’t make up its mind? I’m desperating clinging onto the respect I have always had for the IAFF, but my grip is almost lost. What more will it take? Apparently all the other horrific behaviors and statements by Donald Trump weren’t enough. Please tell me that mocking and diminishing grieving parents of a true American hero will finally push Harold over the edge.

    • Patricia says:

      If this is how he handles things i am sure we will be at war in no time if he becomes president he is like a school kid a bully

  • Mike Mohler says:

    Smitty, if you can understand that Harold is at the end of his career and all of his decisions are first and foremost about him you can understand why he is hesitant to do the right thing. He will most likely not complete his final 4 year term but he wants to be in position to pick his successor. That’s important so he can secure the most outrageous pension possible and have a larger retirement party than Al Whitehead and Vinnie Bollon combined. I learned the hard way that Schaitberger is only concerned about Schaitberger. He knows because of the leadership vacuum that he has allowed to be created he can’t dictate an endorsement for Clinton/Kaine, like he did for Kerry and Dodd, without serious ramifications from an unenlightened IAFF membership. The leadership at the top of the IAFF has rotted, become impotent and unwilling to face the monster they created.

  • Mike Schwartz says:

    Eric, I think you are being unfair to Mr. Trump. Didn’t you hear him say that he had suffered too. Remember, he had to inherit $125 M, go through the ordeal of getting a deferment from military service, suffer 4 bankruptcies including putting hundreds of small businesses into bankruptcy, too. Oh, and he had to work really hard. And then he has to put up with fire marshals getting him out of an elevator and telling him he has to follow fire safety regulations around occupancy. So many others horrible things. LThank god, Eric, that Mr. Schaitberger understands how much more Mr. Trump suffers than gold star mothers and firefighters who only put their lives on the line every day. You really are incredibly mean to Mr. Trump and Mr. Schailtlberger who only spend every waking hour of their day thinking only of others, never themselves.

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