Monday, September 1, 2008

Rich Lowry on Trig Palin

Rich Lowry of National Review penned a lovely tribute to the Palin family and their infant son, Trig, born in April of this year. Baby Trig was born with Down's syndrome, a condition with which Doc Paul and I are well-acquainted. Our older brother Ralph, born on October 4, 1959, shares Trig's characteristics, which means that Sarah and Todd's child will positively affect the lives of everyone privileged to know him as he grows into a happy, productive and lovable human being.

In his post, Rich tells the story of Ian, another beautiful soul who demonstrated the very best of humanity during a recent flight:

When I was thinking of Trig, I was reminded of an encounter
I had a couple of weeks ago on the Delta Shuttle from Washington to New
York. It was a mostly empty plane, but I went all the back to the very
emptiest part of the plane to spread out and enjoy he quiet. And there was a
man sitting in the very back row who immediately piped up, "Hi. I'm Ian.
Would you like to sit next to me?"He was a guy with Down Syndrome, maybe in
his twenties. I declined the offer, but we struck up a conversation. He was
going to New York for a family celebration, including for his birthday. I
told him I had a birthday coming up too and he lit up and came over to
vigorously shake my hand in congratulations—more delighted by my birthday
than his own.When the plane began to fill up a woman and her daughter came all
the way to the back with a huge bag. I began to wonder to myself if I should
offer to help them with it, when Ian popped up, told them he'd get it, and
lifted it up and shoved it in the overhead compartment. When two men came
down the aisle with a box they weren't sure would fit overhead, he intervened
and told them it would—"trust me"—and put it up for them.He chatted amiably
with his neighbors during the flight, and when we landed was up out of his
seat first thing to help that woman get her bag down.From this brief
encounter, I dare say Ian is friendlier, better adjusted and more
considerate than about half of the people on the streets of Manhattan or San
Francisco on any given day. Yet most of those people are
perfectly unperturbed by the elimination of babies with Down syndrome in the
womb. To hell with them. God bless Sarah Palin for bringing Trig into the world,
and may he shower those around him with as much sunshine as the gentleman I met on that flight.

To which I can only reply with a resounding "Amen!"

How incredibly tragic that 90% of babies discovered to have Down's Syndrome while still in the womb are aborted. One of the many strengths Sarah Palin brings to the Republican ticket is her "moral authority" on this issue. Here's a woman - already a busy mother of four, wife and governor - who chose to give birth to her child, knowing full well his life will be fraught with challenges as he navigates through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence and finally, adulthood. But Sarah rightfully sees her son as a blessing -- much as my parents did with Ralph -- in her words "a beautiful baby boy." And the image of Trig's big sister holding him lovingly in her arms as their mother accepted an historical nomination warmed my heart and inspired my soul just as much as Sarah Palin's fantastic speech. To quote Glenn Beck, the Palin family is "the real deal," a representation of the very best of America. God bless them!

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