Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mercer County Commissioners Commit to Graham Bridge

The commissioners met today to discuss the agenda for their regular meeting on the 12th. Attending the meeting were Col. Gary Solander (Veteran Affairs), Tom and Kathy Graham (Shawn's parents), Sheila Berry (Shawn's sister), George Pokrant (GC Borough Council President), and myself.

The bridge resolution was the first thing discussed. Ken Seamans and Brian Beader both voiced their support; Olivia Lazor was opposed on the basis that she doesn't want to single out one person and that current county policy dictates that they don't name bridges. In her opposition, she was very respectful and dignified.

Gary spoke from the veterans' point of view and voiced total support. He mentioned that the County Veterans' Council was unanimous in their support.

Tom spoke very emotionally and forcefully, voicing displeasure about the way Shawn has been portrayed by some. He intended to set the record straight about Shawn's valor. He mentioned a few points that were previously unknown to the public:
- Shawn received special training for infiltration; he was selected for his marksmanship and tactical skills
- Shawn was part of an elite group that grew full beards and wore Iraqi civilian clothing
- Shawn worked with counter-intelligence
- Shawn was in an Iraqi vehicle when he was killed

These points show the ignorance of those who worked very hard to deny Shawn's this honor. All they had to do was talk to the Graham family - instead they chose to degrade Shawn's valor in the public realm.

The commissioners will be approving the resolution at their meeting.

As a side note, reporters from The Vidicator and WFMJ-21 (both Youngstown, OH) were there. There will be TV coverage at 6:00 tonight.

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