Does Korea count? It was not officially a war, only a “conflict” as someone correctly reminded me the other day. I count it. Warren Fox was my mother’s younger brother. I never got to know him. He died in Korea as a young brave infantryman. And, L.G. Ogle was one of my father’s younger brothers. He had his papers in hand and was to ship out for home the following day. His last assignment was to stand watch one more night. The sniper’s bullet went through his brain. He, like uncle Warren, came back to their mother’s in a box.
I never served nor did my father, but we both volunteered and were both sent home early because of medical reasons, his feet and my eyes. So, my father did, and now I, will live a long live in the home of the free. The price for that freedom was, and is, awful. It’s hell.
I stood on a hill overlooking the Confederate Cemetery in Vicksburg several years ago. Through my tears I saw a green lawn painted with hundreds and hundreds of white crosses, each represented a son, a husband, a daddy, a bother, or a friend. I wept and wept as I thought about the ugliness of war, especially that war, and the awful price men pay to fight them.
I watched as old guys wearing hats with shiny pins on them walked to the Viet Nam Moving Wall, found a comrade’s name, removed their hat, and wept with once strong shoulders shaking. I even found the name of someone I once knew. For what? Politics?
I saw in the daily paper that in Afghanistan alone about 3,000 Americans have been killed and another 1,000 from other coalition countries. I can’t get my mind around why that is a worthy war. And there’s Iraq and many, many others.
Men and women of honor often die for less than honorable reasons. But, that fact takes nothing away from the worthiness of the lives given, their love of country, and their devotion to freedom.
So this day is a that brings sadness, sorrow, and a deep longing for the day wars will be done. This world will not always be populated with selfish, greedy, ungodly men who spend other men’s lives like so much play-money. But ’til Jesus comes, and He will come!, we can expect more wars, and more killing, and more empty chairs at the table.
Today as an American citizen I honor the fallen. I remember why it is that I can sit in my comfortable home at my computer and write this blog post and expect to rise tomorrow a free man. My thanks to every family who lost a loved one on the battle field. I’m so sorry it happened. I honor you and your fallen loved one. May God comfort your heart as you too remember.