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Mom Wants Icon Son To Return Safe

For a nation, the arresting image of Marine Lance Cpl. Blake Miller has made him an icon - the face of the war in Iraq.

But for Maxie Webber, the photo, printed in more than 100 newspapers, was welcome sign that her 20-year-old son was OK.

"I'm proud he may be an icon, but, to me, he's my baby. He's my son. And I just want him home," she tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

On Wednesday night, Dan Rather dedicated the final minute of the Evening News to a close up on the photo and his personal thoughts on the war.

Maxie, who was watching the broadcast in her East Kentucky home, slowly realized that Rather was talking about Blake, and started to cry.

Her son, serving with Charlie Company of the U.S. Marines 1st Division, was frightened before the battle, she says.

He only started smoking after he joined the Marines. Maxie, a nurse, does not approve, but says she has decided to let it go until he returns.

Here are Dan Rather's remarks from Wednesday:

"For me, this one's personal. The picture. Did you see it? The best war photograph of recent years is in many newspapers today. Front page in some. Taken by Luis Sinco of the Los Angeles Times, it is this close-up of a U.S. Marine on the front lines of Fallujah.

He is tired, dirty and bloodied, dragging on that cigarette, eyes narrowed and alert. Not with the thousand-yard stare of a dazed infantryman so familiar to all who have seen combat, first hand, up close. No. This is a warrior with his eyes on the far horizon, scanning for danger.

See it. Study it. Absorb it. Think about it. Then take a deep breath of pride.

And if your eyes don't dampen, you're a better man or woman than I. Where such men come from and what will happen to our country when they cease to come, we can wonder with worry. But for now, we have them, and they are there in that brown hell known as Iraq. Whatever you think of the war, they went for the right reason -- they loved their country.

May these men and women of honor, valor, integrity and loyalty know that they, their deeds, and their sacrifices are not forgotten. That can be validated by every schoolchild in America being shown the picture and having it explained to them. Lest they, and we, forget."

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