Sunday, May 25, 2014

Freedom's Price


 Better than honor and glory, and History's iron pen, Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men. ~Richard Watson Gilder


Memorial Day weekend - the weekend that launches summer. Schools are out or will be soon. Seniors are graduating and getting ready to grab life by the horns and see what's next. Some young men and women came to that stage of life during a time of war. Their next thing was joining the military and fighting for freedom and their country. Many gave their all. This sign I saw at the traveling exhibit of the Vietnam War Memorial tells it all. The toll of dead and wounded and missing number in the thousands in every war. 


But a picture like this one brings home that truth in gut wrenching fashion. Row after row of crosses mark the graves of our soldiers who stepped up to the line for their country and did not come home. Tomorrow, Memorial Day, our nation pauses to remember and honor those soldiers.


These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They are at rest.  They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest.  Earth may run red with other wars - they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

My father didn't serve in the army. He was exempted from the military in World War II because he was a farmer, but I've known many men, including two of my uncles and two of my husband's uncles, who did serve our country during that war. Then young men of my generation faced the challenge of the Vietnam War and many served with honor and courage. Still now, men and women are putting themselves in harm's way to defend our way of life and fight for freedom. May we ever keep them in our prayers. 

Do you have family members who have served or who are even now part of the military serving our country? 




6 comments:

  1. My dad went into Marines right after high school in the 80's and stayed in until he got his twenty plus years. One of my uncles was in the Navy, the other in the Army stationed in Germany when the way came down. My grandpa was in the Navy during the Korean war. My great uncle was a Marine in Vietnam. Two great great uncles were in the Army and Marines during WWII.

    And even now two of my cousins are serving on in the Air Force and the other in the Army. My family not only serves but we support the ones that do. Also the spouses and kids who are left behind, because those that are left behind have to hold everything together, and some times we forget those. I have a special place in my heart for military brats (military kids) mostly because I am one but they are some of the bravest kids i know.

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    1. Carissa, you have a family that has given much for our country. The rest of us are blessed by their service. You're absolutely right about the whole family being part of the serving and having to give so much. Glad to hear from a "military brat" today. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Ann, Your post is beautiful. We are blessed to live in our great United States of America and we are blessed to have and to have had men and women who were willing to give up their freedom and their lives so that we might continue to live freely and without fear.

    My daddy and my husband both served in the Army. I am so proud of both of them and when we attend our local Veteran's Day program every year, My heart is full of joy and admiration being in the presence of the glorious Vets.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melanie. We are blessed to live here in America and to have men and women ready to serve to protect our country. Veterans deserve our honor and gratitude.

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  3. My father was a prisoner of war in WWII but we only found out after his death and one of my brothers has a form of ALS from serving in Dessert Storm.Thanks for having this little memorial.

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    1. Thanks for sharing about your family, Nancy. Many of the soldiers who came home from WW II didn't want to talk about it until later in life. They wanted to get on with their lives and put the war behind them.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.