Community grieves with Morris family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

The small Concordia Parish community of Monterey is grieving the loss of one of its own, and the entire Miss-Lou shares in that grief.

Pfc. Rick Morris, a Monterey, La., native who was raised in Texas, was killed last Thursday in Iraq, the victim of mortar fire while he was on patrol.

Morris’ family and friends in Monterey &045; where he spent many summers in recent years &045; have gathered around his parents and siblings to offer comfort.

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Morris’ death, just a month after the U.S. Marine went to Iraq, shows us again the human toll of this war, which has not truly ended despite the declaration to the end of combat.

But Morris’ life is an example to all Americans. Described by his mother as a young man who &uot;loved his country,&uot; Morris’ own patriotism was fueled by the nation’s attitude following Sept. 11. He signed up for the Marines in part as a response to that patriotic fervor.

Morris stood up for his nation’s ideals by fighting for democracy in Iraq. This is a difficult war which has spawned deep divisions in our country, but all of us support our troops. What has happened in Iraq because of the war &045; the capture of Saddam Hussein and the seeds of democracy &045; could help turn the tide in the Middle East.

As his mother Dana Morris said, &uot;There will never be another Rick,&uot; but perhaps his life can inspire more people who live up to our ideals of democracy and freedom.