“…The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”
Last week I posted a rather jaded article on Veterans Day. While I make no apologies to the generations to whom I addressed the post, I have found a new reason to hope in the future thanks to a handful of children from Lawrence County, Alabama.
I arrived in Moulton just in time to catch the end of the car show and to dance on their courthouse square, and shake hands with a few vets listening to the band. Shortly after I arrived, I was handed a small paper sack with some drawings and candy. I gave them a brief glance promising myself to take a close look when I got home.
Friday morning, I took that closer look and could not hold back the tears that stood in my eyes. The sack was full of letters from elementary students thanking veterans for their service and sacrifice. A couple of the letters were far more than thank yous. They were real letters from young hearts.
Here are two of the letters from a couple of very special you people.
Thank you for all that you do y’all are very brave to go and put your life in harm’s way and risk everything for our freedom. I’m sorry for all the disrespectful people in this country. It is sad that they will not even stand for the pledge in the morning. But thank you for risking it all and leaving your family and friends to go and put your life on the line in the middle of the desert and fight for our freedom.” Briar Terry.
It has been said that a veteran is someone who, ‘at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life,’ and I can’t argue with that! I have been raised to respect veterans and show them gratitude any chance I get. My dad served as a Marine and he once told me about an elderly gentleman he befriended while my parents were living in Tuscaloosa. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa where he got wounded a thus received a Purple Heart. One day at church the older gentleman wasn’t there which was close to the anniversary of the battle from World War 2. My dad had wrote him a letter thanking him for his service and mailed it to him.
That night at church his wife came up to my dad and expressed that his letter had made her husband cry like she had never seen. My dad immediately apologized thinking that he had brought up bad memories. She told him that wasn’t the reason at all. It was because he was the first person to thank him. This 71 year old man got out of the service 53 years ago and not a single person had thanked him. I hope this hasn’t been the case for you. I hope you’ve been thanked for your bravery and selflessness. I hope you know how much you’re loved. But, if not, I’m glad you are hearing it now. The world needs more people like you. I thank you for serving this country and putting your life on hold. I thank you for being a leader and stepping up to the plate to fill a need when you see one. I thank you for having a servant’s heart. I hope you have the best veteran’s day yet! God bless you.
Thank God for young people like this and for the parents who are guiding them. I will see Veterans Day from a new perspective from now on thanks to Briar, Katie, and the others who sent well wishes. They have given renewed value to military service.
Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven.