- The Washington Times - Friday, November 26, 2004

Nobles: Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel, for a sacrifice of a lifetime in defense of his country.

In America’s all-volunteer military, it is sometimes assumed that only men and women without much of a future decide to enlist. The arrogance of such an assumption might be tolerable if it weren’t so blatantly wrong. A case in point is Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel, age 29, who enlisted in the Marines in October 2003, leaving behind a promising career on Wall Street as a financial analyst.

Working 16-hour days at Bank of America, Mr. Gavriel lost two friends on September 11, reports the New York Observer. “He was deeply affected by 9/11, but that was a small part of why he went,” said Matt McClelland, a friend of Mr. Gavriel, to the Observer. “It wasn’t about revenge and payback. He supported the war but wasn’t happy with how they were handling it. I think the way he looked at it was, no matter what side of the aisle you stand on, that’s the most important place in the world right now, there’s no way to turn back and we had to succeed, and he wanted to be a part of that.”

In 2002, Mr. Gavriel lost his job and struggled for a time before deciding to enlist in the Marines. Just before he left for boot camp, another financial firm offered Mr. Gavriel a job. “My wife and I went to see him off to boot camp,” said Mr. McClelland. “He said that he felt it was fate playing with him, that he would have been miserable had he not gone.”

On Nov. 18, Lance Cpl. Gavriel was killed in Fallujah. He was posthumously awarded two Purple Hearts on Tuesday.

For epitomizing the greatness of America, Lance Cpl. Gavriel is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: The self-pitying Kerry voters and those who coddle them, for a childish exchange of offers and acceptances of forgiveness.

Shortly after John Kerry lost the presidential election to President Bush, the American left lost something more: Any semblance of self-respect. A Web site quickly popped up called SorryEverybody.com that allows those with nothing better to do with their lives to leave pictures of themselves asking forgiveness from the world for the re-election of Mr. Bush. Some 6,000 pictures later and now there’s a Web site called ApologiesAccepted.com that features citizens of the world doing what its namesake suggests.

But (wouldn’t you know it?) those pesky red staters have started their own Web site called YourWelcomeEverybody.com. A surprising entry comes from “Osama bin Laden,” who says, “I am so sorry, world! Freedom will spread now! And there’s nothing I can do! Damn the evil of democracy!” Admittedly, the authenticity of bin Laden’s entry could not be verified.

For being ridiculous, the minds behind SorryEverybody.com and ApologiesAccepted.com are the Knaves of the week.

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