Thank You, U.S. Veterans

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I honor you, the Veterans of these United States of America.

I am a proud widow and a daughter of military veterans.

This day makes me stand proud although sad.

It makes me sad for all those who have lost their lives due to war.

I honor those veterans who return with physical, mental, emotional wounds.  I am so very sorry.  I pray for you and your families.  I honor the families who serve alongside of their husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandchildren for they are serving this country as well.  Thank you to each and every one of you.

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My husband, Kenneth, was an United States Army combat veteran, 101st Airborne Division/Co. B 3/506; served in Vietnam, 1968-69 serving from 1967-1970.  Kenneth died this past June 7th of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a recognized type of cancer caused by Agent Orange.  Yes, Kenneth served on the ground fighting in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  Agent Orange was definitely present there.

Yes, this next photo is my Kenneth in 1967 when he was going through the U.S. Army Airborne School (or Jump School {as he called it}) as part of the 101st Airborne training in Fort Benning, GA.   (P.S. I wish I had known him then!! : ) )

Kenneth jump school

Kenneth, you were a soldier once…and young, along with so many others in so many wars.  I look at this photo of you and see such a very young man…a boy!  Boys, now girls too, tend to fight the wars, don’t they?

“The Class of 1965 came out of the old America, a nation which disappeared forever in the smoke that billowed off the jungle battlegrounds where we fought and bled. The country which sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home. It no longer existed.” *

In the Prologue of We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, the authors were speaking of the Vietnam War.  That is the war my Kenneth fought in.  He came home with what we now call PTSD, but there was no label back then.  They just came home and did the best they could.  Kenneth made it.  I am sorry he fought in that war.  I am sorry we as a nation fought in that war.  I am sorry so many died in that war.  I am just sorry about all wars.  I do not like arguments let alone wars.

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I am sorry that we did not welcome you home as all service men and women deserve.  So I say to you and to all Veterans, Welcome home.

Kenneth in Vietnam

Kenneth, I have always been so proud of you.  I respected you and loved you with my whole being.  Although I did not know you back then, I am so glad and grateful I was blessed to call you my husband for twenty-five years.  Thank you for marrying me and loving me as you did.  You were the best husband and friend to me.  Thank you, Love.  I am so sorry that Lymphoma took over your body though (for my loss).  You are with Jesus now and that is the best news of all!  Praise Him.  Praise the Lord.

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My father was a Navy doctor, a “lifer.”  He loved his Navy.  He served in WWII in the Pacific and then went on to be a part of the post-war Manhattan Project (Bikini, Eniwetok Islands) where radiation exposure took his life by Pancreatic Cancer.  He practiced medicine in the Navy for 20 years until he died at age 46.

My Daddy died when I was 12.  Thank you, Mama, for loving us through such a difficult season of life, of death, for all of us.

My parents are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

My family is honored.  We miss them.

Daddy, I miss you so much.  It has been 58 years since you died, yet it could have been yesterday.  I sometimes feel like I am still 12, having that giant Daddy-hole in my heart.  I love you so and wonder at all I missed by God taking you home so early in our lives.  I am glad we had Mama for almost 99 years.  She had a hard row ahead of her with three girls-me just on the verge of becoming a teenager.  But we made it.  We all turned out well.  Daddy, thank you for loving us so.  Thank you for your dedication to the Navy and being a doctor.  You were loved by so many and missed by so many.  I pray I will see you again one day on the other side.  I love you, Your oldest daughter

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Freedom is not FREE…never will be either!

Freedom comes with a huge price…one worthy of a fight…but where do we as the United States of America draw the line.  As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI, while pondering WWII, especially this weekend as our nation celebrates Veterans Day, how many wars does it take to be free? How many lives?

Where have all the soldiers gone
Gone to graveyards, every one
Oh, when will they ever learn

Oh, when will they ever learn? **

When will WE ever learn?

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  1 Peter 2:16 ESV

For He Himself is our peace, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making

peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  Ephesians 2:14-21

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our/my freedom.  You offered Your Son as the Sacrifice to redeem Your children to You.  I am and will be grateful forever, Abba Father.  May I live as You have called me to live, Father God.  Thank You for these men and women who have served and are currently serving this country.  I pray that we do not forget them but honor them in this life for the honor with which most have served. I lift up those today who came back from war with scars on or in their bodies, minds, and souls. Protect and heal them, Father. I pray for the families of those fallen soldiers, the families of those who are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, in other areas of this world where they are in harm’s way.  I pray for the families of those who have returned from war injured in one way or another.  Oh God, be with them each and all.  I lift up our Coast Guard who are risking their lives to interdict the drugs and the cartels who are making these runs.  I lift the military who have been called to our Southern border alongside the Border Patrol.  I pray You give them and the government wisdom and compassion regarding those many who are seeking asylum to a country they hope is a better place to live.  Oh, Father, there are so many concerns.  I pray on my knees before You. Thank You for hearing my cries.  May we each turn to You and know that You are God and Father of all.  Amen.

 

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American Flag:  http://wallpapernpictures.blogspot.com/2012/07/american-flag.html

Fall in Arlington National Cemetery/Veterans Day:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/11/11/veterans-day-weekend-fall-color-at-arlington-national-cemetery-photos/?utm_term=.ca70a6b848a1

Private photos from my own collection of Kenneth, Daddy, gravesite at ANC

History Repeating Vietnam/Vietnam Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C.:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial

* Quote: from “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young” by Hal Moore and Joe Galloway

**  from “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” by Pete Seeger, 1955

Veterans Day — 2015

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I honor you, Veterans of the United States of America.

I am a proud wife and daughter of military veterans.

On this day, I stand tall in honor of these two men and all the other veterans of today and the yesterdays.

It also makes me sad
for all those who have lost their lives due to war.
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I honor the veterans who return with physical, mental, and emotional wounds.  I am so very sorry.
I pray for you and your families.
I honor the families who serve alongside of their husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandchildren…for you are serving this country as well.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
 IMG_1434My husband is an Army combat veteran, 101st Airborne Division/Co. B 3/506, served in Vietnam, 1968-69.
You were a soldier once…and young, as were (and are) so many others.
I am so proud of you, Kenneth.  I respect you and love you.
I did not know you back then, but am so glad and grateful I do now.

Thank you for marrying me and loving me so.

 

Scan 7My father was a Navy doctor, a “lifer.”  He loved his Navy. 
He served in WWII in the Pacific
and then went on to be a part of the post-war Manhattan Project
(Bikini, Eniwetok Islands)
where radiation exposure eventually took his life by Pancreatic Cancer.
He practiced medicine in the Navy for 20 years until he died at age 46. 
My Daddy died when I was 12. 
He and my mother are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 
My sisters and I are honored. 
You loved us so, Daddy.  I still miss you and love you. 
Mama, I miss you too.

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Freedom is
never FREE.

By His will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Hebrew 10:10

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our/my freedom.  You offered Your Son as the Sacrifice to redeem Your children to You.  I am and will be grateful forever, Abba Father.  May I live as You have called me to live, Father God.  Thank You for these men and women who have served and are currently serving this country. I pray that we do not forget them but honor them in this life for the honor with which most have served. I lift up those today who came back from war with scars on or in their bodies, minds, and souls. Protect and heal them, Father. I pray for the families of those fallen soldiers, the families of those who are yet in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other areas of this world which place them in harm’s way. I lift up our Coast Guard who are risking their lives to interdict the drug cartels coming out of Mexico. Oh, Father, there are so many concerns and I pray on my knees before You. Thank You for hearing my cries, seeing my tears.   May we each turn to You and know that You are God and Father of all.  Amen.

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Have you ever heard about Wreaths Across America? or Worcester Wreath Company in Maine? This company has been honoring our fallen soldiers by placing wreaths upon the graves since 1992. It began small and has grown to almost every Veterans Cemetery in the USA. Check out their story: Remember
Saturday, December 12, 2015 National Wreaths Across America Day –


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Flags photo:  http://blog.mass.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Flags-Veterans.jpg

Arlington National Cemetery in the Fall:  http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/arlington-national-cemetery.jpg

The others are my own photos.

Memorial Day – 2015

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Memorial Day can be a gathering of family for a barbeque or for a day at the beach.  It is remembered as a day off from work or a reminder that we will only have a four-day workweek.

But Memorial Day is far more than that:

  • It is a day (and there ought to be 364 more days a year for this) to remember the many men and women who have worn a uniform of the United States Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard over this country’s history.
  • It is a day to remember why they wore those uniforms — to protect the United States of America and her citizens.
  • It is a day to remember that many have died in the face of an enemy during battle, protecting the people and the freedoms that come with living in this country.  Their blood was shed as they obeyed their commanding officers.
  • It is a day to remember that there are many, this very day, who are wearing one of these uniforms and are in harm’s way…this very day!  

May we stand proud for the United States of America whether we believe in all that is going on in the country today or not.  This is our country.  We must stand proud of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem.  As we stand with our hand over our heart, be proud because these men and women in uniform are standing in obedience to the orders they receive from their commanders.  They are doing this for us, in our name, for we are citizens of the USA.

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You and I are to stand in obedience to God Who is our Commander in Chief, our Stronghold, our Refuge, our Protector.  His Son shed His Blood for us…His red blood…in obedience to His Father Who is our Father.

Father God, may we look to You for all of Your commands, Your will,  for our lives each day.  May we honor those who stand for this country, who die for this country.  Please care for them as they fight or assist in war-torn countries, or work in places that have been ravaged by natural disasters and have been sent to help.  We lift up the many families who have lost loved ones in these many battles this country has been involved in.  We lift up those families who have someone in uniform right now and are fighting, protecting, assisting, or are preparing to go into a place that could be dangerous in one way or another.   Please guard them with your legions of angels.  We pray in the Powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’  Jeremiah 7:23

For He will command His angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11


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“This is a mission unique to members of the 3d United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), which has the distinction of being the oldest active unit in the United States Army dating back to 1784. The Old Guard is the Army’s ceremonial unit serving as honor guard to the President of the United States, and performing burial services for fallen service members, veterans and their family members at Arlington Cemetery.”  Arlington Cemetery

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21:  Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place American flags at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day May 21, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Both of my parents are now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

There is a flag on their grave this very day and I remember.

I am honored to remember.

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I am married to a Vietnam Veteran and am honored to have my hand in his.

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I do not forget.

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Photo of Young boy saluting flag: http://365atlanta.com/2010/11/11/286-a-simple-thing-to-do-thank-a-veteran-every-day-not-just-on-veterans-day/

Flags In photo: http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_21/1038161/pc-150522-arlington-flags-mn-0430_f195bba7ed10dc1c882e0c9d58494cc9.nbcnews-ux-1360-900.jpg

Gratitude Each Day…Every Day

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:12-13

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Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day…

commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

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Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.  The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

When I was a girl, we wore the poppies on our dress or blouse, men in the buttonhole of their shirt or suit jacket.  The graves were marked with a paper poppy also.  People sold them on the street corners on November 11.

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Most countries changed the name of the holiday after World War II, to honor veterans of that and subsequent conflicts. Most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted the name Remembrance Day, while the United States chose All Veterans Day (later shortened to ‘Veterans Day‘) to explicitly honor military veterans, including those participating in other conflicts. “Armistice Day” remains the name of the holiday in France, Belgium, and New Zealand.

No matter what this day is called, it is in honor of all of the military veterans (and their families).

I thank you.  Those three words do not tell you just what you mean to me.

You have joined our Armed Services to uphold this country’s freedom and honor.  You are a hero to me, no matter what job the military gave you to do or which war you fought or whether you even fought in a war.  You are my hero because you are a veteran of the United States Armed Services.  I am forever grateful.

My heart is heavy with such thoughts of war upon war, men and women giving their lives, bodies and minds may be less than whole after conflicts, the return home to find that the world looks different after serving in combat.  BUT…I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done, are doing, and will be doing.

And I also thank the families, the wives, the children of all of those who served and are serving right now.  You have sacrificed much and I thank you.

Can I tell you that “I love you?”  I do.

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I understand.  My Daddy was a career Navy doctor who took doctoring seriously as he served in the Pacific theater in World War II.  He became a part of the post-WWII Manhattan Project as the United States continued to test atomic and hydrogen bombs (Daddy served @ Bikini and Eniwetok Islands.)  He became Chief of Medicine and later a physician for the Surgeon General and Secretary of the Navy when they traveled.  He wrote curricula for the internship and residency programs for new Navy doctors.  There is so much more to my father’s military history, yet much will never be known by me as he died of Pancreatic cancer when I was twelve.  He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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My mother served alongside Daddy, but on the home front.  She worked for the Naval Supply Depot in San Diego and Los Angeles, California, during WWII.  She served as a Navy doctor’s wife at the various bases we lived.  She was the President of the Navy Doctor’s Wives Club in San Diego.  Mama was proud to be in the Navy with her mate.  She never remarried, raising us three girls alone after Daddy died, and lived to be 98.  The Navy and the friends she made were lifelong.  Mama is now buried with Daddy at Arlington.

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I am a proud daughter of them both and am honored to have them buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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My husband is a Vietnam Veteran who served in combat with the United States Army, 101st Airborne, 1968-69.  I am blessed to have this man by my side now although I was not married to him at the time he served.

Near Los Alamos, NM


I stand proud of my heritage and my husband.

And I stand proud of each and every Veteran in this country.  

Thank You.

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Veterans Day poster @ http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/gallery.asp

“In Flanders Field”: http://highgate-rsl.org.au/remembrance_day.html

Veterans’ Day 2013

To all who have risked their lives, laid their lives down, for the sake of the United States of America and our freedom, I say, Thank you.  You deserve and receive my deepest respect by your service.  I honor you every day even though you may not know that and I especially remember you on Veterans’ Day.

When we went to Arlington National Cemetery this past September to lay my Mama’s ashes to rest with Daddy, I was solemnly reminded of the high cost of war, of all those who have served this nation through the military in one way or another.   Everywhere I looked were gravestones, white marble, of those many, many fallen ones who have been buried there from the Civil War forward.

Thank you.

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For those who die for the call of their country but we know them not… The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a stark reminder that some warriors are never identified or even found.

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For all who serve, I honor you…

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We, as a nation, honor you…

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My father served as a Navy doctor in World War II in the Pacific Theater.  He continued to serve as a career Naval doctor.  He loved the Navy.  After the war, he became a part of the peacetime Manhattan Project/Atomic Energy Commission when atomic bombs continued to be tested mostly in the Pacific Ocean and the state of Nevada.  He died young, age 46, from pancreatic cancer, in all probability due to the radiation exposure from those tests.  Yet, in a letter to his brother, dated July 1, 1946, while at Bikini Island for Operation Crossroads, he wrote how proud he was to be there, to be serving his country in that manner.   I imagine that, even as a doctor, if he did have any inkling about the risks and dangers, he would have gone anyway because that was who he was.  He was serving his country under an oath he took mighty seriously.

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I honor those who served in the Vietnam War that brought so much heartache to this country in the 1960s and 70s.  You did not receive the gratitude owed you then.  I speak for many who now say thank you.  We are sorry for the way we treated you upon your arrival home… to your country… which you were serving.  You did not deserve that.  I am grateful that this nation has honored you in Washington, D.C., both for the living, for those who died, and for all who did not return from the Vietnam War.

I am blessed to have my husband who served in the Army in the Central Highlands of Vietnam as a member of the 101st Airborne Division.  He was infantry, in the line of fire.  I am ever so grateful that he came home and is married to me.  I honor you, Kenneth.  I thank you.

For those who did return home from any war zone over all generations and live with the scars of war, we honor you in our hearts and, hopefully, show kindness somewhere along your life’s pathway, saying thank you.

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I am grateful for the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, for Merrill Worcester, for he and his company lay the wreaths on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery each December.  The project has grown so large that wreaths are laid in Veterans’ Cemeteries in every state across this nation as well as 23 cemeteries overseas where our soldiers are buried.

Their mission is “To Remember, Honor, & Teach about the service and sacrifices of our veterans, active military, and their families. We will Never Forget.”

The history of this is @ http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/about/history/   The website is @ http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/

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I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  Romans 12:1-3

In the Name of Christ, I pray with gratitude for these special people who have served this nation.  I pray for all of those who live this day with the thoughts and memories of war.  LORD, please clear their minds and hearts that they focus on You and You alone.  LORD, I thank You for the service of so many that have stood for freedom and truth in this land.  May you bless each one.  LORD, please care for those who need You now, whether they be the soldier, the nurse, the sailor, the family, the young child who has lost a parent, all and each one.  Hold them near healing their hearts and minds.  I thank You for creating them and for loving each one.  Amen.

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No…It is Not Free!

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I honor you, the Veterans of these United States of America.
 
I am a proud wife and a daughter of military veterans.  
This day makes me stand proud.  
It makes me sad 
for all those who lost their lives due to war.
 
 
I honor those veterans who return with physical, mental, emotional wounds.  I am so very sorry.  I pray for you and your families.  I honor the families who serve alongside of their husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandchildren 
for they are serving this country as well.   
Thank you to each and every one of you. 
What can I say?  I can only weep with her for I have been in this woman’s shoes for my Daddy.
 
 
This link below is a moving and beautifully artistic slide show with music from Arlington  National Cemetery.  I invite you to join me there.
 
My husband is an Army combat veteran, served in Vietnam.  I am grateful that he came home. 
I am proud of you, Kenneth.  I respect you and love you.  We were
young back then and did not understand all the ways of this world (and
still don’t.)  I did not even know you yet, but I am glad I do now. 
Thank you for marrying me and loving me so beautifully.  



I lost my Daddy when I was 12.  He was a Navy doctor, a lifer — he
surely would have been.  He loved his Navy.  He served in WWII in the
Pacific and then went on to be a part of the Manhattan Project/Bikini
and Eniwetok Islands where radiation exposure eventually took his
life.   He practiced medicine in the Navy for 20 years though, until he
died at 46 years old. 

You loved us so, Daddy.  I miss you, and so do Mommy and Nancy and Annette.  
I love you, Daddy. 
 
Freedom is never FREE. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by
abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he
might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making
peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

Ephesians 2:14-21

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Have you ever heard about Wreaths Across America?  
This company has been honoring our fallen soldiers by placing wreaths upon the graves since 1992.  It began small and has grown to almost every Veterans Cemetery in the USA.  Check out their story:  Remember 

 

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

(1 Peter 2:16 ESV)

 

May I live as You have called me to live, Father God.  Thank You for these men and women who have served this country.  I pray that we do not forget them but honor them in this life for the honor with which most have served.  I lift up those today who came back from war with scars on or in their bodies, minds, and souls.  Protect and heal them, Father.  I pray for the families of those fallen soldiers, the families of those who are yet in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other areas of this world that are placing them in harm’s way.  I lift up our Coast Guard who are risking their lives to interdict the drug cartels coming out of Mexico.  Oh, Father, there are so many concerns and I pray on my knees before You.  Thank You for hearing my cries, seeing my tears.  Amen.

 

Photo 1: taken by ~ linda