Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. For some, it’s a day off work. For others, it’s about attending a special Veteran’s Day Parade.
This very important day reminds us of our freedom. A gift we often take for granted. It’s a time to reflect on our military men and women who have fought and made great sacrifices. Many of them have given their life for us to be free!
Several years ago one of my patients was excited for me to meet someone who was with her in the waiting room after her annual exam. It was her son, whom I delivered nineteen years earlier. I focused on his Marine dress uniform as we shook hands and had a very heartwarming talk. I told him that I was proud of his decision to protect our freedom as a U.S. Marine. I believed he was the best of the best.
A year passed quickly. My patient was scheduled for her next annual exam. I looked forward to hearing about her son’s military experiences. Unfortunately, she didn’t keep her appointment. In fact, she rescheduled three times and did not keep any of them. Breaking appointments was not her style.
I was concerned and decided to call her. When she answered the phone, I knew something was wrong. There was a sadness in her voice. After the tears stopped, she proceeded to tell me her son had been killed in Iraq. It was heart breaking. I prayed for her over the phone. After our conversation, I realized that her son died for me and all Americans, so we could be free. What a huge sacrifice!
More recently while waiting in Atlanta’s airport for a connecting flight to Detroit, I noticed a Marine in his dress uniform. Seeing him humbled me. He held a small wooden box with an American flag imprinted in the lid. Much to my dismay, I knew the box contained a fallen Marine’s ashes. His remains were being taken home to his family by his fellow Marine.
During the flight home, my mind drifted to the fallen soldier and his special Marine escort. I prayed for him and the family he was soon to face.
When we landed in Detroit, the pilot spoke over the intercom. He announced that a fallen Marine was being escorted from the plane and asked everyone on board to allow his Marine companion to exit the plane first. We joined him as he stood. Everyone clapped. Many passengers had tears in their eyes as we sang the National Anthem. Then a profound silence covered us while we watched the Marine leave the plane.
These are not uncommon stories. They touched my heart!!! I hope yours have been touch as well on this Veteran’s Day. Please pray for our military men and women throughout the world protecting America’s freedom and others.