Friday...13 April '12...at the conclusion of the DC QConference I spent two additional days seeing people friends from years back, and visiting selected sights, which have almost also become like old friends. The friend who had attended Q with me, and I, made a mad dash for the last public changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetry...at sunset...what an amazing time to be there in the hush of that vast place...remembering.
Watching the precision of these men, who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and bring dignity to all who have given their lives for the sake of the US of A, I wept at the honor being given...especially watching others in the gathered crowd who had obviously been in the service at some time in their own lives...tears sliding down their weathered and time-worn faces...with volumns of stories registering behind their eyes.......
...when we were leaving to return to our car, all these silent markers of honor greeted our pending departure from Arlington. I walked among these, alone, for a few minutes, all politics aside, and prayed for the men and women who are yet in the line of fire that day, even this day...Monday, 28 May '12. Which family, somewhere in America will be next to see two soldiers walking up to their front door with the first words, "We are sorry to inform you......."
This past Saturday, upon awakening, I opened our front door to be greeted by a lone flag punched into the edge of our front lawn. A local realtor had placed a flag in front of every home in our neighborhood. My orginal intent was to simply go out and get the morning paper. The new and larger intent was to look up and down the street, and the images that came to mind from this simple display of care took me back to the recent visit to Arlington Cemetry.
It's easier, though a bit overwhelming (if you've ever been to a national cemetry...especially on this day), to be caught up in remembering with the vastness of the white tombstones there. Coming back into that day, even looking out my office window at that flag, this day of our lives, it's easier to somewhat put behind us the remembering, as we tackle the "stuff" of our lives.
However...this flag...this day...remains in front of our home...as one does in front of most of the homes in our neighborhood. This day...I remember...from a heart of gratitude...and pray, not only for those from our own country, but for those of other countries who yearn to live in freedom...indeed, may freedom be the cry of all our hearts...freedom to live the life our God intended that all should live...free to be all the Triune God has created them, and us, to be...and do.
...in too many places still a novel thought.