Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day. Honoring those who have died in wars. My father was a fighter pilot in the Navy in WWII in the South Pacific. He didn't fact, he was shot down by enemy fire and miraculously picked up by a submarine. How lucky can you get??? I've never thought much about Memorial Day until Iraq. Seeing the kids who have died over there has been so terribly sad.

When I think about it, my father was a kid when he went to war--age 19. I can't imagine. He doesn't like to talk about the War, but I do remember once when I asked him how he survived the fear, he said, "You would look around you at the other guys in the transport plane and know that half wouldn't come back--but you NEVER put yourself in that thought." Wow.

At Promise House, we've had a few young veterans in our transitional living program. And we've had several who joined the Armed Forces upon leaving our program. We've had a staff member's son in Iraq, and we now have a staff member in Iraq. So far, we've had no casualties. It gets closer and closer to home.

I can't help thinking of other "war" casualties closer to home. Kids who die at the hands of abusive adults, women who are beaten to death by spouse or boyfriend, teens who are sold into prostitution, teens who die on the streets from drug overdoses. I'd like to have an army to fight those wars....

But this Monday, we honor those who died in battle on our behalf. Whether we agree with war or not, think we should be engaged in wars or not, the fact that there are men and women willing to protect us from peril is pretty awesome.

I am also awed by the men and women who fight for kids--sometimes a seemingly hopeless battle. I am grateful for them, particularly when there is no end in sight. It takes alot of fortitude to keep fighting under those circumstances.

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