As we remember this weekend that freedom isn’t free
we pray for those missing loved ones deployed
for those whose hearts are grieving, missing loved ones lost
and we are so thankful to God for our country
for the smell of summer and hamburgers, the breeze off the beach, for blueberry juice running down chins, grandparents visiting, a soldier-husband and father home this Memorial Day
God’s medley of mercy running through it all
i know too well how it didn’t have to be
how he’s been to war and back three times
(not enough can be said about that kind of courage)
he’s put on his battle gear, walked into the minefield, and missed years of his daughters’ lives
he’s been willing to give it all, every day, for the past 16 years
and if called to go again, he will go.
some would say he has sacrificed a lot to serve his country
indeed some have sacrificed all
for us it always points to the Divine Sacrifice, how can it not?
We did nothing to deserve His gracious gift, nothing to earn His great sacrifice for us. And yet, indeed He was willing to die that we might live. He judged our lives so worthy that He would sacrifice His own. Not because of anything we have done, but simply because He loves us… incredibly.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Today my heart and mind go back to Warrior’s Walk, October 2010
The Fort Stewart field that welcomes 3rd Infantry Division soldiers home from deployment is surrounded by a living memorial known as Warriors Walk. Redbud trees line the walkway, each one in honor of a soldier who died serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. An American flag and a name-bearing plaque marks each memorial. I walked this walk in the dark of night and then again in the crisp daylight, feeling the need to pause at every single tree – there are nearly 500 of them.
Many have called it sacred ground. It may be so because in the midst of the memorials, one is compelled to reflect and remember, pray and give thanks.
The words, always the words, capture me:
Brandon’s good friend, Jimmy, a fellow classmate and fellow pilot.
Family and friends place photos and mementos on the trees, leaving a glimpse into the life of their loved one. A guitar amp, a Red Sox license plate, a gameboy, a cap, a jersey, golf balls, dogtags, boots – you are struck by the fact that these are men and women who lived, laughed and loved and gave it all. They were somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, mother or father. Because of them, because of their sacrifice, our freedom survives.