“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Today grieves me. Sobs spring forth from deep places in my soul. My non military friends think that I have lost my mind I am sure. Even walking through the grocery store the tears slip silently down my face drawing stares from strangers. I want to stand on a mound of coke cans shaped like an American flag advertising BBQ’s and summer fun so I could scream at those happy people. “Why aren’t you sad? Why aren’t you crying? Don’t you know that my friends sons/daughters/moms/dads/sisters/brothers DIED so you can enjoy all this freedom?”
But I know that, in that moment, they will only see me as a crazy woman they can video and put on youtube with their smart phones.
I wish these tears on no one. I wish this pain and sadness would be removed from the world we live in. I wish no more wives had to throw themselves onto caskets. I wish no more mothers had to open the door to two uniformed military men. I wish no more families had to make that trip to Arlington to weep over another grave.
Yet I know that there will always be a need for these sacrifices. Why? Because evil lurks in our world, behind every door, in every dark corner. The freedoms we so often take for granted are protected by the blood that is shed on those foreign fields. Protected by men and women who raise their hand and VOLUNTEER to go out into the world to fight the evil that threatens to destroy all that is good.
There are also guilty tears. Tears shed by a grateful wife/mother who never had to open the door to those uniforms. Guilt because while I never wished it upon anyone…in the recesses of my heart I was grateful it wasn’t my son or my daughter or my husband or my daughters husbands. Guilt because when I held my sobbing son in my arms as he flailed against me screaming out that it should have been him, I was thanking God that it wasn’t.
A few years ago we went to the Rosecrans Veterans Cemetery above the ocean in San Diego on Memorial Day. I watched as old men lifted drinks in a silent salute to a brother’s gravestone. I saw tokens left on graves in obvious reference to a memory of days when coffee and donuts was all that was on the schedule along with a crossword puzzle or two. I looked over the hundreds and hundreds of plain white markers where generations of men and women took their final rest. All had given some and some have given all. Some had died of a ripe old age after serving. Others were cut down just days into a war they didn’t want to fight in. There are also the stones of the wives and husbands who supported their military spouses throughout sleepless days and nights and wanted nothing less than spending eternity beside the one they loved.
There are graves all over the world of the American soldier. Graves on foreign lands. Watery graves never to be covered with a tombstone. When called they raised their hands and said “here I am; send me”. Remember that they were willing to lay down their life not just for their friends but for every American. The good. The bad. The indifferent. They took John 15:13 even further than Christ asked.
Let us honor those that have sacrificed so dearly. Take a trip to a veterans cemetery today. Almost every city has one. Even if you have to drive, it’s a small effort considering what these brave men and women gave up for you.
Blessings and thanks for visiting today,
scriptures from KJV Bible