updated 4/27/2004 1:50:03 PM ET 2004-04-27T17:50:03

Terry Anderson, a journalist in Beirut in 1995, was kidnapped by the Hezbollah. On Monday’s Deborah Norville Tonight, he told us that it made a huge difference to him knowing that people cared and were praying for him. 

You‘ve got to wonder what kind of example is being set in Japan, where three former hostages, a photojournalist, a writer, and an aide worker have been practically treated as pariahs upon their safe return.  The Japanese government is billing them over $20,000 for the cost of their plane tickets back home. 

On the other hand, here at home this weekend, an elementary school kid who had never heard of Pat Tillman before wrote an essay about what it means to give up something really special of their own for something even more special for their country.  I‘d never heard that from my little boy before.  And I bet Pat Tillman would have liked hearing it, too, and so probably would those soldiers who have died and won‘t get the publicity of the fallen NFL safety turned elite Army Ranger. 

It‘s a reminder that nothing good comes without effort, and nothing lasting comes without sacrifice.  And if the 24 million people of Iraq one day can get up and raise their children, and go to jobs in peace…  and if little boys in this country realize that sometimes the bigger picture is worth sacrificing for, then maybe the deaths of Pat Tillman and the more than 550 other Americans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan won‘t be in vain. 


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