The fighting in Iraq is half a world away, and in this era of TV wars, the terrible truth that lies at the heart of warfare can be sanitized by the tube's virtual reality. But for Utah, that sense of distance and emotional detachment ended over the weekend with the death of Marine Staff Sgt. James Cawley, the first Utahn killed in action.
    With his death, the war in Iraq has come home.
    Cawley leaves a wife and two young children who now must carry on without their husband and father. It is an unimaginable burden to ask any family to bear.
    As Lincoln observed at Gettysburg, it is impossible at times like these for the rest of the community to adequately express its gratitude for the sacrifice made by those who have given "the last full measure of devotion." James Cawley made that sacrifice, and through their loss, his survivors will continue to add to that sacrifice for the rest of their lives.
    As chance would have it, Sgt. Cawley exemplifies the traits of many of the other Utahns who are serving in harm's way in Iraq. He was both a Marine reservist and a police officer. He was a family man. He was a second-generation soldier. He worried about being absent from his children, but he answered duty's call.
    We hope that Sgt. Cawley will be the last Utahn killed in Iraq, but recognize he might not be.
    Lincoln also observed at Gettysburg that the living could do little to add to the consecration of a battlefield that already had been made holy by the men who had given their lives there. What the living could do, however, was to rededicate themselves to the ideals for which the warriors had fought.
    Sgt. Cawley and the other Americans are fighting in Iraq to rid that nation of a dictator who has modeled himself on Stalin. They are, according to the Bush administration, fighting to eliminate the threat Saddam Hussein poses to his own people, to his neighbors and to the United States, but also to bring the Iraqis closer to a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" of which Lincoln spoke.
    By any measure, that is a tall order in a society and culture far removed geographically and philosophically from the United States. But the best way to honor Sgt. Cawley's memory is for the United States to remain true to the ideals that Lincoln championed at Gettysburg while it brings the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion.