I have to hand it to him — that was one of the best speeches I’ve heard a president deliver to Congress. I was distressed, however, about the degree to which he milked the anguish of Navy SEAL William Owens’ widow. It effectively blunted the call for an investigation into the raid that resulted in his death, an investigation endorsed by Chief Owens’ father who was not in attendance, and by the time the uncomfortably sustained applause was over you’d think Chief Owens, who certainly deserves our respect and appreciation, was the only veteran ever killed in combat. His name, the president promised Mrs. Owens, will be on our lips and in our prayers of remembrance for eternity. I doubt it but if that’s the case it will probably displace the names of hundreds of thousands of our other dead veterans who most of us have forgotten or those of the millions of innocents dead in their wake.

Phil Crossman, Vinalhaven