Memorial

copyright Kanzensakura – my father, far left, Paris, 21st birthday

Memorial
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” – Douglas Macarthur

My father, aged 21, in Paris. He had left the horrors of Omaha Beach behind him. This was his 21st birthday and his two best friends celebrated it with him. I look at his smile, insouciant, not showing the future of night terrors he had until he died. The flag was folded and given to my mother at his funeral; it was inherited by me when she died. When I think of sacrifice, I think of those bodies floating in the bloodied water that he said they walked on to get to get to shore, when they landed on that horrible beach. When I think of memorial, I think of those of us left behind who remember those we love who have traveled on before us.
Memorial Day –
the sound of Taps floating
across the cemetery

Memorial Day: Remember and Give Thanks

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

My father was in the onslaught at Omaha beach. He only spoke of it once – how the bodies where so thick in the ocean where many had drowned, you could almost walk on them. How the sand of the beach was drenched with blood. My father lied about his age so he could join early.

He loved his country and his family and came back from the war forever changed. He was a tender, smiling man, gentle. There wasn’t a baby or animal who didn’t trust him or hesitated to be held in those loving arms.

If you live where you can believe as you want to believe, speak your mind, vote, spend your money as you wish, raise a family, worship as you choose, then don’t forget to thank a Veteran or someone currently serving in the Armed Forces. If you are in McDonald’s or Starbucks and the person in line in front of you is a current service member or law enforcement officer, fire fighter, emergency worker – thank them and buy them a cup of coffee. They do so much for us, the least we can do is say “Thank You”.

Here is a link to a post I did when I was given the Inner Peace Award.  I accepted it in memory of my father.  http://kanzensakura.com/2013/06/15/inner-peace-award     Have a safe and happy day and remember…

copyright Kanzensakura - my father, far left, Paris, 21st birthday

copyright Kanzensakura – my father, far left, Paris, 21st birthday

 

Wounded Warriors – Thank you – Faith of the Heart

I volunteer at our local Veteran’s Hospital.  It has been my privilege and honor to be of service to our service personnel who have been wounded in the line of duty.  It has been heartbreaking and heart lifting.   I can do so little and really, it is they who have helped me.

We all have our journeys and wounds – some wounds take longer to heal than other.  But I have learned from these courageous warriors, it is your attitude that is what is important – how you define your pain and suffering and healing rather than letting the wounds define you.  They encourage each other and when necessary, tell one another to get off their pity pot and start going forward.  Wow.

Several years ago, a new saga in the Star Trek mythology came on TV – Enterprise – the pre-history of the original Star Trek most of us know.  I was immediately captivated by it and not just because the luscious Scott Bakula (a long time favorite) was the star of the show.  The theme music, when first I heard it in the opening credits, brought tears flowing down my cheeks.  Faith of the Heart….the words said it all to me about my journey, pain, hard times, renewal, faith, healing.  A few Sundays ago, it was my time to do the special music for church service.  After much thought of so many other songs, I chose this.  I chose it because it is a true song. It says much about my journey of faith as well as my journey of life.

One day on one of the wards, one of the guys was having a hard time with his physical and emotional healing.  He had lost both legs below the knee and one arm at the shoulder.  He had been working so hard and today, he was so tired of it all.  I was sitting, helping a young man with his lunch when one of the other men, began singing this song.  In just a moment, it was taken up by the others.  Obviously, this song rang true to them all.  I sat there awed and humbled by these men – they were wounded for us and now, they were at their most vulnerable and yet, also at their strongest.  The young man was encouraged and began to sing along.  Afterwards, they all applauded and cheered and continued on with their healing process.  No whining, no blame, no holding back –

The video with the words is below.  As you continue your journey in life, remember these words, remember these heroes, remember: it is your choice how you heal or don’t. It is your choice how you move forward or stay stuck.  They were wounded for us, but they were healed for themselves and those they love.

Thank you again to all our service members, wounded, healed, whole, deployed, at home, retired…God bless and keep you every one.

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