May 31, 2010
They came quietly forward.
In ones and twos..some holding hands.
Eyes cast down.
And the line of them standing tearful and side-by-side grew at the front until it spanned a long distance...almost the entirety of the large auditorium.
As they came forward they were handed a long-stemmed rose...yellow for those rembered who are currently serving in a combat zone, and a red rose representing one who had given their lives already in the service of freedom. A family member, husband, father, close friend, sister.
The deep quietness settled down tighter and tighter upon us, until the hundreds gathered became entirely still. And the one in charge stuggled to speak at all...and finally softly led us in prayer.
We were remembering.
We were memorializing the fallen and those risking everything.
We were being moved deeply with sorrow for the loss, love for those who remain and great thankfulness for the freedom that even allows this expression.
We were gathered at church...in the presence of our Lord.
We had become one again. We had not forgotten. We had honored.
The worship leader took the red rose he had been given and taped it to the mike from which he led us all.
Even today, it still moves me deeply.
Thank you to the men and women and families who have given so much and are doing that even today. You are depositing the costly commitments so that freedom can reign.