With a background of somber but patriotic music, the words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address faded in and out, as images of American soldiers -- at times emotional, at other times inspiring, but at all times patriotic -- appeared on the screen. It was a moving, but inadequate tribute to the sacrifices that the men and women of our great nation have made. I say inadequate, not as a reflection on the video presentation itself, (it was outstanding), but that most of us simply cannot comprehend the price that these people (and their loved ones) have paid, and continue to pay today, so that we might enjoy the freedoms that we do -- here in America, and around the world.
|My pastor encouraged our congregation
to visit the local cemetery to pay our respects to these heroes. It
was a very sobering experience to see row after row of flags waving in
the wind, each marking the grave of an American soldier. As we walked through
the cemetery, we read each grave marker to learn the name, branch of service,
and sometimes the specific event in which each of these men and women had
From the top of the hill, I could see the freeway in the distance below. While perhaps a total of 10 families visited the cemetery in the brief time that we were there, thousands of motorists drove by, probably unaware of the cemetery, occupants, or the connection between them.
That connection is freedom.
I am grateful for this country that I call my own, a land that is free; and I am grateful to the men and women who have proudly served to make and keep it that way.
The next time you drive by a cemetery on Memorial Day and you see all of the flags, stop your car and get out. Take some time to walk the rows of graves, to remember what we enjoy in America, the price paid, and give thanks to God.