Ghazala Khan: Trump Criticized My Silence. He Knows Nothing About True Sacrifice
Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart. Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old. He had volunteered to help his country, signing up for the ROTC at the University of Virginia. This was before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to.
The last time I spoke to my son was on Mother’s Day 2004. We had asked him to call us collect whenever he could. I begged him to be safe. I asked him to stay back, and not to go running around trying to become a hero, because I knew he would do something like that. He said, “Mom, these are my soldiers, these are my people. I have to take care of them.” He was killed by a car bomber outside the gates of his base. He died trying to save his soldiers and innocent civilians. Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.
When he was young in his country of birth
His loving mother would tell her friends
This day my son took his first steps
And the next day he would
Try again and take two more
And within a short amount of time
In a year that seems like forever ago
He was walking toward me
One step, five, ten steps.
The father wanted to pursue
Some of his own dreams
For higher education and
To provide a happy life
For his family
And brought them to our country.
They learned our culture
They made the most of it
They pocketed our Constitution
They became like us
Our neighbors, co-workers, friends
Exactly as some of our ancestors
Who were immigrants
To the land of the free
The home of the brave
The place most of us
Take for granted.
In time, this son took more steps
As an American
Learned from his parents
How to care for others around him
In high school helped disabled children
Learn to swim
Learned from the Army recruiter
How he could further give back
Could become a soldier, himself
Law school could wait as he would
Offer a few years to the country
Where he had walked and grown.
The young soldier served his tour
And was set to serve another
And traveled to what is referred to as
“The cradle of civilization”
To fulfill his wartime duties
And his parents asked him
To stay home where he had once been
And always would be
Cradled in their loving embrace.
He said he had to go.
Our young Muslim soldier had to go.
He had to support his troops
He had to go.
One day a challenge occurred
And he looked it in the eye
To save the Muslims on one side of the wall
And to save his troops on the other
He held up his hand and
Marched into battle alone
He marched into battle
They say he took ten steps
And saved everyone
Hearing the story we
Can only ask ourselves
How many of us
Would have had
As we sit and learn of his life
Of his parents’ grief and our country’s loss
One thing we know for sure
He believed in a God who would welcome him
If he lived a good life
A good and civil life
And if his constitution stayed strong
One thing we can imagine at the end
As his parents grieved and
Temporarily gave him up
Our Muslim Soldier heard the
Invitation into heaven
And it was a voice calling out to him
Or it was a feeling he got
That it was time to take
Those last ten steps
And he would indeed
Be home again.
U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan
Our Muslim Soldier