It really doesn’t matter what our personal opinion of war is. We may agree with one and not another war. This war was reason enough, that one wasn’t. There was sure a different sentiment from WWII to Vietnam. One thing that is hard to escape is the immensity of emotion that hits you when you walk into a veterans cemetery. Row after row. Stone after stone. Name after name. Then you remember that every state has several of these. There is a great sadness that came over me today as I walked through, reading names and dates.
What was John Gregory’s story? Had he ever fallen in love? Was he the high school football star or maybe just that quiet kid that kind of kept to himself. What was going through his parents minds as they kissed him goodbye, telling him to be safe? Was there a girl waiting for him, sending him letters to keep him from going crazy?
Every single one of these stones has a story lying beneath them. The were white, black , Indian. Boys from Florida, Montana, and Maine. They were somebody’s son, brother, uncle or father. They not only lost what they had but anything they ever would have. Bullets know no creed or color. They don’t know if you only have a few days left of your tour or if you just got here yesterday. They don’t know if you are scared to death or if you just watched your best friend die.
I think of my children. If the draft was still in place, I would already have one son in the middle of it. I would have another one in a year and one more in 4 years. How do you go from a life where your biggest thing is girls and Friday night football games, to sitting in the middle of a war zone, far far far from home? It makes my heart sink. It makes me thankful and it makes me proud of those that have fought for the honor of their country. I could never say a big enough thank you to all that have served. It would be a dream world to live where we didn’t settle differences by war, if we all followed the heart of Jesus. I guess I don’t ever really see that happening. So how many more flags will we plant in the grass? How many more names will we read? How many more families will be destroyed?