TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN
By Joan Veon
Most recently I heard the testimony of a 20 year Army Corporal who spent most of his time in the Special Forces.A big bruiser of a guy, he told of some of the tough assignments he had had.He said that he could be dropped anywhere in the world and find his way out from the drop spot.He also told of how his heart had become extremely hard and cold but a simple “thank you” from a pastor melted through to his inner core as he told us with tears streaming down his face, “In all the 20 years that I served my country, no one had ever said ‘Thank you’ to me.”
THANK YOU to all of you who have served the Constitution and the Flag of the United States of America.To you who have fought to preserve the promises bestowed on America by first the blood and tears of our Forefathers and those who went after them.A special THANK YOU to your families who watched your child’s first steps, first day at school, first bike ride, baseball game or prom while you were away.
A deep felt THANK YOU to those of you mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, wives and children who endured the loneliness and pain of your loved one who went down.As a result of 9/11, we also salute and say thank you to the firefighters and other first responders who responded on that profound day.We salute all those families who lost loved ones.As I read a number of 911 obituaries of those who died, I was smitten by the loss and void of all of the goodness and greatness that was sacrificed that day.I was overwhelmed by the courageous responses of those left behind.
Five years ago, I had a beloved brother-in-law die in a horrific farming accident.My sister was widowed at 36 and left with two young children.In a conversation with her recently she told me, “You never get over it.” Most recently the husband of a cousin by marriage had a heart attack at the age of 42. The following poem was written by her sister, Ann Kars, and read at the funeral.For those left behind, young and old, I pass this on to you with permission and blessings.May it warm your hearts this day.
My darling wife and children
I’m writing from above
To tell you what’s been going on
And send you all my love.
When I arrived I had a talk
With Jesus Christ my friend
I told the Lord I didn’t know
My life was going to end.
If I had known I would have gazed into
My family’s eyes, held them close and kissed
Them while we said our last good-byes.
And now I worry Lord because they’re all alone
I’ve several things I need to do, I really must get home.
Then Jesus said, “Don’t worry, your family’s not alone
You think they are abandoned because I’ve called you home.
I’ll care for them each moment and hurt when they are sad
Your children are not fatherless for now I’ll be their Dad.
And when they’re low, My hand will rest upon their tired head.
I’ll pull them close like you would have done
Now, that I am there instead.
I’ll send my love and comfort to your wife you can be sure
I’ll hold her hand and give her strength so that she may endure.
And now my son, it’s time to rest, your earthly job is through.
Relax and let the King of Kings step in and fill your shoes.”