Sunday, November 9, 2008

Touching the Monuments

Veteran's day is coming up. I have some personal thoughts on our Veterans.

Some of the best lines of our patriotic hymns are not in the 1st or best known verses. When I sing the National Anthem I often slip into singing my favorite verse. . .

O thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the wars desolation
Blessed with victory and peace may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that has made and preserved us a nation
And if conquer we must, when our cause it is just
And this be our motto in God is our trust
And the Star Spangled Banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

See what I mean? Pretty stiring and very meaningful.

It has not been my priviledge yet to go to Washington D.C. and visit the monuments there. When I do get there though one of my first stops will be the Vietnam Memorial Wall. I get emotional even thinking about it. My father served in the Air Force in Vietnam. It is not something he talks about much except to tell us the fun ghost stories. But, I know his service to his country is one of the things he cherishes most. I honor him and all the brave men and women who have served, are currently serving, or will ever serve.

Dad has not been to D.C. either as far as I know. But, thankfully there is a Moving Wall memorial. It is an exact replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall only smaller and able to travel. My mom convinced my dad to go, though he did not want his kids to be there. We of course respected that. I asked my mom later if dad had touched it. She confirmed that he had. Isn't it interesting that we feel the need to touch the monuments. Veterans in particular will touch them. There is something validating about having something tangible. It gives the memories a place. It lets your mind know that the memories you had are real.

I got to visit the Moving Wall also. Like I said I get emotional even thinking about our soldiers. So, I did not make much of an effort to not cry. But, I knew I needed to touch it, to touch those precious names. It made them and their sacrifices more real for me.

As I walked away from that sacred spot I thought of a verse from America The Beautiful

O Beautiful for Heroes proved in liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life

As I pondered these incredibly significant words, I thought of how well those same words describe the Savior Jesus Christ. I am one of those people who believe that every good thing testifies of Him. The men and women who freely serve, their willingness to sacrifice their own lives for our freedom, they testify of Christ, because they are like Him. They are the best this nation has to offer and we should always honor them.

Be sure to thank our veterans this week.

1 comment:

rychelle said...

I also love that verse from The Star Spangled Banner. It has moved me every time I have sung or read it. Thankyou for your thoughts. I know veterans are very important to Afam as well...They sacrifice their lives in a way I feel I couldn't. Thank you.