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Congressman takes responsibility

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

The American public is getting more and more frustrated with elected officials in Congress. Time and again, we read that U.S. senators and House members are in the pocket of special interests and often vote based on who gives them campaign contributions.

While this criticism is often justified, we feel it's only fair to point out instances in which a member of Congress acts in an ethical manner and takes responsibility for his voting record.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, has occupied a seat in the House for almost 25 years. He was one of 296 House members who voted in 2002 to go to war in Iraq in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Since then, Jones has written more than 11,000 condolence letters to the families of dead troops. He considers it atonement for his vote to go to war -- a vote he would love to take back. He says he believed the Bush administration's assertion that Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein, had access to weapons of mass destruction. It turned out not to be true.

"I will never forget my mistake because people died because of my mistake," Jones told The Associated Press.

The letter he sends to families is a form letter, but he puts pen to paper to sign each and every one of them. It touches our heart that he takes his responsibility so seriously. So many of his colleagues are only interested in blaming the opposition party for what happens in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Walter Jones for standing up to be counted and following his conscience.