The simple text reads:
"They have served their county. They have personified patriotism. They have given their lives. They are heroes who have left loved ones who cherish prideful memories but mourn the loss of their son, daughter, spouse, father or mother. We salute their dedication but are left to wonder:
"Who will be next? And how many more?"
Two more local died just this past week, likely triggering this opinion page response.
The paper endorsed George W. Bush for president in 2000 and 2004.
In an accompanying message, editor Mike Klocke writes: "I'm sure the approach The Record editorial board took with the adjoining editorial will invoke some strong feelings - in both directions.
"We've now had 20 deaths of service men and women with ties to our area. Their patriotism and service to the county is appreciated and lauded.
"We put the news on the front page every time a San Joaquin County man or woman dies while serving the country. I pray we don't have to do it many more times."
Klocke also explained that the paper's news coverage on the war has also drawn criticism for all sides, for focusing too much or too little on the deaths.
By: E&P Staff The editorial page of the Stockton (Ca.) Record has a special message for readers today, in print and on the paper's Web site. Along with the photos of 20 local men killed in Iraq, it poses the question: "On this Mother's Day we ask: How many more must pay this price? Who will be next?"