Memorial Life Surprises
“He [godly King Hezekiah] appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouragedbecause of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a Greater Power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” (…)2King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace.” II Chronicles 32:6-8, 20-21
Today is Memorial Day, a day set apart to remember those serving our country who have made the ultimate sacrifice; giving their own life or the life of one they love. It is for the soldiers, no matter what branch of the military, who died while serving their country and I believe it is also for the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, siblings, children, grandparents, etc. who proudly loaned their loved one only to never see them return. Today is not Veteran’s Day nor is it Armed Forces Day. One of my aunts lost her fiancé in WWII, that is the closest my family has ever been touched by death in a any war but I, like each of you, have many friends and cousins who have been touched physically and emotionally by the terrors of war. But today is for remembering those who paid the ULTIMATE sacrifice; over 650,000 verified men and women (combat deaths) in our 239 year history as a nation.
It was 45 years ago next month that I stood in line with approximately 300 other graduates at Wheaton Field in Millville, NJ. Two young men who stood in that line with me would pay the ultimate price for our freedom in the fields of Vietnam before the class of ’69 lined up. For 45 years I have spent time in prayer for the families of Bobby and Salum. I’ve prayed that the Lord has additionally blessed their families over these years and that they have been comforted and given peace. The first time I visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, I touched their names and felt a great sadness for all they missed in life; no marriages, no children, no grandchildren, no college, no opportunity to work in a career of their choice but they served us; the U.S.A. proudly; May God continue to touch their families and honor those they left behind.
There are teddy bears and high school rings and photographs that mamas bring
of daddies with their young boys, playin’ ball.
There’s combat boots that he used to wear when he was sent over there
There’s 50,000 names carved in the wall.
There’s cigarettes and cans of beer and notes that say, “I miss you dear”
And children, who don’t say anything at all.
There’s purple hearts and packs of gum, fatherless daughters, fatherless sons
And there’s 50,000 names carved in the wall
They come from all across this land in pickup trucks and mini vans
Searching for a boy from long ago.
They scan the wall and find his name, the teardrops fall like pouring rain
And silently they leave a gift and go.
There’s stars of David, rosary beads and crucifixion figurines
And flowers of all colors large and small.
There’s a boy scout badge and a merit pin, Little flags waving in the wind
And there’s 50,000 names carved in the wall.
There’s 50,000 names carved in the wall
Songwriters: Jamie O’Hara
Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone