DENVER -- A Highlands Ranch man who says he was “disgusted” by Donald Trump’s comments about the mother of a Muslim U.S. Army Captain killed in Iraq, said he wants to do something about it.
Mike Sexton is asking people to show up at Fort Logan National Cemetery at 10 a.m. Sunday, to place flowers, or other tokens of appreciation, on the graves of Muslim soldiers.
He told Denver7 that if they can’t find any Muslim graves, they’ll place the flowers on graves of people who were different from them.
“For me, it may be Latino,” he said, “since I was raised Irish.”
He said the idea is to decorate a grave, “just to say we are all Americans here.”
Captain Humayun Khan’s father spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Trump said, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there with nothing to say. She probably, maybe wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
His comments ignited a firestorm of controversy from Democrats and Republicans.
“Capt. Khan gave his life for this country and that needs to be honored,” Sexton said.
“These people,” he added, pointing to grave markers at Fort Logan, “all sacrificed for this country, whether they were killed in action or whether they died comfortably in their beds after they sacrificed and went to war.”
Sexton said, “We’re all Americans here. There are Jewish graves next to Christian graves. There are Native American symbols. There are Roman Catholic chalices."
And he said there are markers with "just names and no symbols.”
The Highlands Ranch man said he was home watching Saving Private Ryan, again, on the night Mr. Trump gave his “denigrating” remarks about the Khan’s.
“I wanted to remind myself what real sacrifice looks like,” he said. “I thought about the letter from Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby,” (who lost five sons during the Civil War.)
In the movie, the actor portraying General George C. Marshall, was faced with having to notify another World War II era mom about the loss of her sons. He read Lincoln’s letter, which said in part, “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid such a costly sacrifice on the Altar of Freedom.”
“I felt I had to honor that,” he said. “So I just put a little group on Facebook and said, ‘come if you’d like,’ and I think I touched a nerve.”
Sexton said he hopes others will show up Sunday morning, “but if not, I’ll come and do it myself.”
Sexton said he has no military background, but added that his brother is in the Army.
“I’d like to think that other Americans would honor him, if he was in one of these graves.”
Sexton also told Denver7 that he’d like to “issue a challenge to anyone running for political office, from any party, from dog catcher to the President of the United States, that they do the same thing."
He said people can meet at the Welcome Center at 10 a.m. Sunday. The Center is at the main entrance to Fort Logan National Cemetery, just off Sheridan Boulevard.