By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
WOODLAND, CA – May 3, 2004 : Mr. Khalid Saeed, AMV Director Northern California today spoke at the Veterans Memorial Day Program at the invitation of Mr. Larry P.Schapiro of American Legion. According to Mr. Schapiro of American Legion it was a historic event as this was the first time that American Legion has invited a Muslim to address this important annual event. Woodland is county seat and a historic city about 20 miles from Sacramento, the Capital of state of California.
The memorial day program at the Woodland cemetery was attended by the members the American legion, veterans, Woodland mayor, Matt Rexroad and former Congressman Pete McClosky who is a Vietnam war veteran.
In his speech Mr. Khalid Saeed said giving life for the country and for a principle is the most honorable thing one can do as freedom, justice, and ending of tyranny to end human suffering, these are all great ideals. “Being a Muslim, when I look back into the history. Prophet of Islam Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussain gave his life to oppose tyranny of the leader at the time. Prophet’s grandson was killed along with his family members in Iraq near the town of KARBLA, the town we all have come to know due to current conflict. Even today throughout the world during first 10 days of 1st month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims observe his principled stand and mourn his death.
Mr. Khalid Saeed went on to say that “as a nation, we grieve. As mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, …….. We grieve. But the greatness of the dead heroes should have our attention, not our tears.”
The AMV Director pointed out that “by building the memorials and by observing Memorial Day, we are also fulfilling our obligation to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars and to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation as described in American Legions constitution.
“I think it is a good occasion to renew our pledge to another constitutional obligation which is to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism and to safeguard and transmit to posterity, the principles of justice, freedom and democracy” Mr. Khalid Saeed concluded.
Here is text of Mr. Khalid Saeed’s speech and more pictures: