Monday, November 1, 2010

Taps for a Fallen Soldier and Brother

Even distance and the sound of the wind didn't diminish the crack of the rifle fire as the military honor guard fired their weapons. With ever volley my mother flinched and my father kept gathering his soldier strength to honor his fallen son. In exact crisp unison the salute was given, the flag folded in perfect form, handed to the soldiers mother and then; the sound of taps was carried across those gathered in that cemetery on Sibley Road. The melancholy notes and cadence of the piece was more than most could bear up under.

Eighteen years later I conducted the funeral for my father and laid him to rest next to Tag and my mom. Later I was to receive his flag and have it to this day. I recall visiting my grandmother in her little apartment in Flatrock. Hidden inside the tiny frame of Gramma Galloway was a giant character. My dad and four of his brothers served in combat zones during World War Two. Gramma Galloway was a woman who prayed and she prayed everyday for her sons. Every son came back home and were proud patriots.

Her sons who fought for freedom have been laid to rest, a flag was folded in perfect form and taps brought men to stand erect and swallow the lump in their throat. This story can be told by a million different people. A million different names would reflect the same story, pride in their country, a willingness to sacrifice, people praying, flags folded and taps played.

I love my freedom and I know how valuable it is. When we lived in Zambia the country was run by a single party socialist government. A government that was supposed to take care of all and all would be equal. Well, it wasn't so. The people in government were rich and the common people lived in squalor and died of horrendous disease. Have you ever witnessed an outbreak of cholera? Our oldest daughter, Marily, was in hiding for three days during an attempted coup.

I enjoy two freedoms; the first is that of being an American and the second, more important than the first, I am a Christian who has been set free by the Love of God as given to all of us through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. I will not give up either freedom. As an American my freedom depends on the voice of Americans. If we are silent than a government assumes to have the people content, apathetic, or ignorant. Silence is the surest way for a people to lose their freedom. Your vote is your voice, be heard, be vigilant, look for honesty, keep your freedom.

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