Funeral Subject: Amazing & heartbreaking Jay and Joe attended this funeral.  This amazing picture has drawn a lot of comments from readers of the Nashville paper, The Tennessean. 
See Jay’s letter below.

Dear Tennessean:

The Tennessean’s April 5 photograph of young Christian Golczynski accepting the American flag from Marine Lt.  Col.  Ric Thompson is one of the most moving and emotion provoking images I have ever seen.

I attended funeral services for Christian’s father, Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski, on April 4, along with my six year-old son, dozens of Marines, and several hundred others who came to pay tribute to this fallen hero.

As one would expect, many of your readers were touched by this incredible picture.  On April 9 you published two letters from those who have used this image as a basis to criticicize President Bush and the war in Iraq.  These writers should know that Staff Sergeant Golczynski had previously served one full tour in Iraq.  He wrote to his family, shortly before his death on March 27, that he had volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started.
We fight and sometimes die so our families don’t have to.

Tragically, Staff Sergeant Golczynski had only two weeks remaining on his second tour.  I look at the photograph of Christian every day.  It is displayed prominently in our home.  Our hearts ache for Christian and for all those who have lost loved ones in this controversial conflict.  Our nation is at a historical crossroads.  Do we call an end to the struggle in Iraq or press on?  Staff Sergeant Golczynski eloquently told his son how he felt about giving up.  Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us in this man’s life and the choices he made.  He was undeniably a man of tremendous courage and conviction.  America must now choose whether to complete the job.  When I look at the face of Christian Golczynski, I am reminded that doing what is right is not always easy and doing what is easy is not always right.  Christian’s dad knew that too.

James Drescher Franklin, TN


  1. I looked at this picture and I struggled. I struggled to not cry out loud. I struggled to figure out exactly how I felt. I struggled to find the right words to say about this picture. What can you say? I pray for that young little man. His dad made the ultimate sacrifice for his country because he BELIEVED in what he was doing. I hope that Christian will grow up with the understanding of what a great man his daddy was, is and always will be.

  2. Thank you Maj P for sharing the photo, letter and story. May Christian and his family always know that we grieve for them and can never find the words to express our gratitude for what they have given in this fight.
    I also wish for and pray that we will finish the job because it IS the right thing to do for so many reasons – Christian being one.

  3. Thank God for blogs. War is hell. Everybody tells us we are loosing. Just not true. The somber tone here is very disturbing. We have not lost in Iraq. If the Iraqis choose to loose then that is their fault. Are the 60’s losers going to screw us again? Yes if we do not speak up. I really do not know what to say. How can we be so stupid to believe a 2000 year War will end if we bring troops home. Google Islam and their goals. I just do not get it. Our military is at war. The public has not a clue. We will get hit.

  4. This picture is heartbreaking; But the real tragedy would be if we allow the media and the protestors to bully us into leaving iraq before the job is done…then Christian’s Father would truly have died in vain; These gutless wonders don’t realize that if we don’t finish it over there, we will have to do it again on our own soil one day; and maybe some innocent child like Christian will be caught in the crossfire, or bomb blast, because these terrorists prefer random killing, not caring who dies as long as they are American. War IS hell; but it is a most necessary evil sometimes and I for one thank God our men and women are over there.

  5. What a touching photo…kind of says it all….I hope this young man will gaze upon that flag and know how much his father loved him…so much he gave his all..and I hope he also will know that we will never forget his father’s service to our country..Thank you Maj P for sharing this phot with us.

  6. Hi! MP, would come and help you if the Corps would take me at 78, i can zap the bull at 300yds still today. Was a 9900 way back in the old Corps. God Bless and be with you!! SF/Marine.

  7. Thank you for the photo. This is my first visit to your blog and have finally found true American’s who believe we should not “cut and run” like the media and Demo’s want us to do. Thanks for all you do for our great nation.

  8. How many more have to die on both sides before we realize how wrong this is? ‘press on’ ‘gaze at the flag’ ??? It’s romanticism gone amuck that we could look at this picture and think the son would or could replace the love of his father with ‘red blooded American’ patriotism. This idea of patriotism has been worn, bent and twisted that we no longer know what it means. These people will continue to kill each other for the next thousand years as they have for the last thousand. Do we really think we’re making a difference? When the US armed Hussein and Bin Laden, someone please tell me how much difference that it made. The first gassed his own people with US donated weapons, killing thousands and the second flew planes into buildings. For Christian and every other future Iraqi and American orphan, we deserve to find another way and get our troops out of there.

  9. God Bless America. As John McCain said” I am so proud to be an American in a wonderful country where our Young People give SO MUCH for the rest of us to be “FREE” God Love You, Bill Kelly-Navy vet, 1961-62

  10. This young man is a member of the lacrosse community in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. This has affected us in the most powerful way. As a coach and father of 11 year old boys, I now look in their eyes and see this image. I could only hope to have the kind of courage that his father had.

  11. i watched this young man on TV yesterday and was struck by his love for his father. Guess what all you Libs, he said he was going to be a “Marine” when he grows up! He is a lot smarter than you who don’t see we are trying to stop the terrorist before this young man has to fight in his own neighborhood.

  12. This photo may show only one brave young man being handed the flag of his father but in reality it shows him being handed a legacy and heritage that has been passed down since the birth of our great nation, bought with the blood of hundereds of thousands of fathers just like his willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice. With over 27 years in the military and 1 tour in Iraq I have found there are some people who just are unable to understand why we do what we do or to understand our gravity of our situation if the military was not there to stand on the wall while others refuse to stand. Ron L.

  13. L Tipper-although we don’t teach hatred of Islam in our schools, or preach that killing an Infidel (That’s us honey)will give you a one way automatic ticket to paradise (should I mention the virgins)they do. They are our sworn enemys and will destroy us at the first opportunity. You had a pretty speech but don’t expect them to listen to it.

  14. I can achieve far extra than I’ve, and I’ll, for why really should the miracle which developed me finish with my start? Why can I not lengthen that miracle to my deeds of in the present day?

  15. I agree with you. This post is truly inspirational. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job……
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  16. Hey “Rev Big Bro Jim”?
    In case you can’t see the picture, Jim, I’m kindly suggesting that you turn off your caps lock key–because typing in all caps makes you look really, really stupid.
    Everybody who’s hating on liberals for the sake of it, please understand that not everybody that’s a liberal is against the efforts of the soldiers in Iraq. The world isn’t as black and white as you want it to be.

  17. I sort of discovered your site by mistake, but your blog captured attention and i also thought that I’d post to tell you that I really like it.

  18. One of the most emotional and thought provoking photos I have ever seen. I haven’t tried to Friend him on Facebook, but it’s nice to see that Christian seems to be doing well all these years later.

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