Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget...

You might remember this post - the one where I told you about reading every name on the walls at the memorial near my home.

I asked you then - and I'm asking you now - read those names.  Find a place and read the names.  And remember.

Remember that our opinion of war is irrelevant, that what we believe about our president or the choices he has made don't really come into play when it comes to remembering.  Remembering what these people have done for us.  For me.  For you.  For this nation.

They have stood alone in the dark, facing those things that invoke nothing less than stark terror.  They have had to live with the blood of innocent people on their hands, on their hearts.  They have walked where few dare to imagine.

They have been strong.  Courageous.  They have been loyal.  They have been the epitome of what America is supposed to be. 
I cannot speak for those who have lost the ones they love the most.  It hasn't happened to me.  But I can remember them.  I can try to imagine their sadness, their devastation.

I cannot speak for those who wait each night for that letter, that note... the one that says "I am okay.  I love you."  I've never had to do that.  But I can remember them.  I can think about them when I'm awake in the early hours of the morning.

I cannot speak for those who have come home.  Those who remember faces that will never be seen again.  I don't know how it feels to be a soldier carrying a lifeless child.  I've never seen a battle.  But I have seen death, I have seen the loss of innocent life... I have even felt responsible.  So I can remember them.  When I am feeling guilty, or there is a face I can't get out of my head... I can remember them.

I cannot speak for those who have gone on.  I wish I could say with certainty that every one of them is in heaven now - a "better place."  I don't know that.  But I do know this... their sacrifice was ultimate.  There is nothing more they could have given.  We can give ourselves, but there is nothing more we can give.  I don't know what that is, not really.  But when I feel like I am just tired, like I don't want to give anymore... I can remember them.

Will you remember with me?  The old men in the coffee shop, wearing the VFW jackets... the homeless man standing on the street corner wearing the tatters of old fatigues or a uniform... the young man behind the counter at the bank... the police officer who seems just a little more alert than most... teachers, pastors, factory workers... people just like us.  Just like us.

Except today isn't about us.  It is about them.  I can remember.

Can you?
**Please note: photographs are exclusive property of Potter's Clay Studios and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission.**

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