9.13.2007

Labor Day Weekend

We spent Labor Day Weekend at our friends Kevin & Michele Hill's enjoying the weather, playing, games, laughing and eating a lot of food. The Weavers came and we had so much fun 8 kids and all. I will post pictures when the blog wants to work.

Here is an e-mail from a dear friend (not a hoax) a real friend...worth the read.

Dearest Family and friends,

Today I attended the first military funeral that I pray I will never have to go to again but I know that it may not be. I escorted my friend Sarah, whose husband Jarod is currently serving in Iraq.

You may have heard of the accident. 14 soldiers died in a helicopter crash that was due to mechanical failure. 4 of these men were stationed at Fort Lewis here in Washington.

As I entered the auditorium there were four helmuts with night vision goggles staring at me, with pictures of the soldiers. Beneath that was their boots. That was all that was there to represent these men who were husbands, sons, fathers and brothers. I sat for a while, and while people got seated, I was able to watch a slide show of the lives of these four men. Sarah then brought it to my attention that the auditorium was mainly filled with women and that during the funeral that they had in December there were more people able to attend because the troop was able to be there. Many of the friends of these four men are still serving faithfully in Iraq, putting off their mourning until they are able to do so in a place where that kind of distraction will not cost them their life. When the ceremony began we sang the National Anthem, heard men choke back their cries as they remembered their friends through old stories, and heard Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes. (I will never be able to hear that again without crying). After the remarkable ceremony that was filled with tradition and honor, I sat and watched as one by one soldiers went before each set of flight gear and picture and saluted their fallen brother.

After the ceremony we went into a reception hall and had cookies and punch. Sitting I watched a beautiful little boy who had to be the same age as my Eli (1 1/2) run around completely oblivious to why he was there and if he was anything like my little man maybe wondering why everyone was crying and hugging his mama. Then two soldiers approached the widow of one of the soldiers and handed her a framed flag with her husband's picture and his rank. As she sat down almost taken aback by the gift, this same little man with his blond hair, button down shirt, khaki pants, and the chubbiest little hands and fingers came running up to his mom took one look at the framed picture and yelled "Dada". That was it. My heart was broken in two. Knowing that this little precious man would never know his father. Knowing that this family made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Knowing that although they would heal and move on, that their lives would never be the same again. This precious family paid it all for MY freedom.

Why am I writing this you may ask? Because I want us normal civilian people to remember what is being played out while we continue with our normal lives. I want, regardless of your political stance, for us to pray for the wisdom of our leaders and the direction of our country. I want the people I love and care about to thank our military and their families for the incredible sacrifice that they make for us to be able to live in a free country. I want people to quit complaining about what is going on and start voting differently if they don't like what is going on. I want these soldiers to be remembered as the individuals that they are instead of being faced with the fact that we have suffered greater losses in the past. Every soldier that has made the ultimate sacrifice deserves to be remebered that way. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican I believe that you can appreciate the fact that our military serve in their jobs wholeheartedly, with courage and bravery.

I can't help but think of the people I have worked with in the past that were horrible workers. They had no work ethic. They wouldn't do what they were asked to do. They were disrespectful to our boss and those around them. They were incredibly frustrating people to work with. What kind of country would we live in if our military acted this way? Instead of protesting what the military is being asked to do maybe we should thank them for, if nothing else, having an incredible work ethic and doing exactly what is being asked of them. Maybe we can all see beyond that and thank them for their incredible service instead.

Yes, I am an emotional person and maybe most of you won't even read all of this but I just felt that it needed to be said. I love this country that I live in. I am grateful for every freedom that is given me. Even freedom of speech for without that I wouldn't be able to write this to you today.

Please, I ask that all of you remember daily our men and women who are serving in our military. Do not become hardened to the news that you hear of another death. Please know and remember that there is a family behind that death or injury. Please do not let your political standing remove you from being respectful to our men and women in the military. Pray that those who survive physically will be able to survive emotionally and spiritually as well.

Thank you for reading this. Please send on to others who may need to remember what a blessing it is to live in America. I promise that if you forward this to ten people in the next 30 minutes you won't find true love, get a good job, or make a lot of money, but maybe like me you will have a moment of resurging patriotism that I have not felt for a long time. I pray that I never forget. May we never forget.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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