Congressman Griffith’s Weekly E-Newsletter 09.17.12
America Must Stand Tall
The United States of America has long been a blessed nation. God has provided our people with an abundance of natural resources, wealth, and success. He has guarded over us in times of turmoil, and helped us flourish in times of prosperity. Despite our many blessings, we also have enemies and vulnerabilities.
Last week, on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, two of our embassies – in Egypt and Libya – were attacked. Four Americans, including the Ambassador to Libya, were murdered. After initial reports (blaming an anti-Islamic movie for the violence) were disputed, it quickly became apparent that these attacks were carefully planned and executed by radical Islamic terrorists.
I am both troubled and angered by this news. Make no mistake; the American people are kind, generous, and courageous. They volunteer their time, donate their money, and, at times, lay down their lives to better our nation and nations all across the world. Our men and women have fought for the oppressed, lifted up the poor, and provided for the needy. Admittedly, some may disagree with our values and mores. Some may reject our rights, free enterprise system, and rule of law. But at no point will we cower to violence or terror.
As history has shown, American strength can preempt and deter these kinds of attacks. Our nation may be struggling economically, but our people are strong and resilient. We have not fallen, and we will not falter. We remain strong in spirit, and we will defend ourselves and our interests at home and abroad. Our prayers go out to the families of the four Americans killed in these attacks. For them, and on behalf of the United States of America, the perpetrators of these attacks must be swiftly brought to justice.
The Fight Against Binge Drinking
Last Friday, I joined Shaquille O’Neal and the folks at The Century Council to raise awareness about a new campaign to fight college binge drinking. The statistics are alarming. More than 10 million youths, ages 12 to 20, in America report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. Approximately 30 percent of teenagers admit that they drink to get drunk. And 36 percent of college students report binge drinking.
Like so many of you, I know too many families whose lives have been forever changed due to binge drinking. As we all know, this isn’t just a problem on college campuses. More and more, we are learning that our high schools kids and, in some cases, our middle school kids are also susceptible to it. As a junior in high school, Ninth District resident Brian Kitts’ life was forever changed when his mom was killed by a classmate of his. As a testament to the human spirit, once he worked through the pain and tragedy, Brian admits he was able to find clarity and strength. He has since dedicated his life to working with kids. Recently named the new principal of Blacksburg High, I commend Brian for dedicating his life to helping students.
I believe we need to do a better job of identifying youth drinking problems earlier, in the hopes that we can avoid later tragedies. I look forward to working with The Century Council and other organizations with like-minded initiatives, and I will keep you abreast of future news about our progress.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.