Just One Voice
Veteran’s Day 2015
Veteran’s Day marks a time when I took seriously a promise I had made to God and myself about writing. I promised that with all the topics that revealed themselves for discussion, I would do so in a respectful, not reflexive manner. There is plenty of that already out there. In today’s world, respect has seemingly become a rare commodity. The face of courage has become cheapened, distorted by the media, sold to the highest bidder. However, I believe in the purity of the truth and what courage and dedication to purpose really looks like, and in all things truth will not be silent.
This Veteran’s Day I want to remember and pay tribute to thirteen very young, very courageous men who took their promise seriously, to defend the rights and freedoms we often take for granted. I would like remember Joseph H. (CPL/USMC) and countless servicemen and women who return home from war, yet the war is still going on in them.
These thirteen young men were all lost in battles over the course of a single year while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. In a separate story, when Joseph H. returned home from Iraq a couple of years ago, as many of our servicemen and women do, their war doesn’t end when they reach American soil. PTSD and the veteran suicide numbers reflect a war all its own.
In my desire to pay tribute to the real faces of courage, I began searching the internet for some stock photos to use with my unwritten Veteran’s Day post. God has such a unique way of building the back story that perpetuates creativity in me. I came across several color guard and flag laden cemetery pictures. While looking at these I heard in my heart the words…even the rocks will cry out.
The phrase was familiar to me from recent research in the book of Luke. Luke 19:40 holds an ultimate battle cry when remembrance must be a priority. We remember the story of Jesus and the triumphant entry into Jerusalem before the crucifixion. The ultimate sacrifice. As Jesus was heading down the road that went to the Mount of Olives, the voices of the disciples and the crowd shouted praises to the King of Kings. The Pharisees who witnessed this told Jesus to stifle his disciples.
His reply was pure battle cry. He said, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” I am thankful Jesus’ followers did not remain quiet. One voice by one voice that news remains to this day the Good News. Just one voice. History has been changed time and time again by just one voice.
In the US we have the freedom of speech which allows even me, to have a voice. What God can do with just this one voice is often beyond my humbled comprehension. As I reviewed the photos, the words would not fade…“even the rocks will cry out.” I looked at all those pure white headstones and together in one clear, solid voice they cried out in my heart…Please remember me. A simple thank you for your service just didn’t seem like enough. In that moment, Anthem was born.
In honor and remembrance:
*3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division: (Korengal Valley, Afghanistan 2008-2009)*SSG Rogers *SSG Paquet *PFC Dinterman *SPC Knight *SSG Farley *SPC Gonzales*SSG Cox *SGT Medley *SPC Bertrand *SPC Fortunato *SGT Penich *SGT Dawson *PFC Dewater
*CPL Joseph H.USMC
There is a voice so strong it moves through time and space.
It hangs suspended in the air we breathe.
Childhood songs of rocket’s red glare, songs of liberty,
‘My County ‘Tis of Thee.’
Yet these stones cry out an anthem all their own, they cry out…
“Please…Please remember me!”
In God we trust, pledged to defend. Duty. Honor. Courage.
Solemn vows, words spoken by lips desired and sought,
return home broken…and boxed…
trapped in war still being fought.
Yes, these rocks still cry out.
“Please remember me!”
You are who you are, have what you have
Cast votes for your thoughts, to raise up your own,
Like it or not! Truth is, the land of the brave, home of the free,
came with a cost, blood was spilled relentlessly,
wars fought long before there was you, before there was me.
Sacrifice knows not rank or file, no branch of service
sea-to-sea, desert storm or reveille. Honor! Duty!
Stone I say! Speak to me! This price so dear!
The lives? The toll?
Lord, lift my spirit. Comfort my soul.
“Carry me home!” These rocks cry out.
“Where someone will remember me!”
Now, wherever I go, you are there.
White stone of my soul cries out!
“Doesn’t seem fair! I am but a candle gone cold.”
No I say! You are a hero’s light that rests on high,
You are the soft wind in the flag that passes me by,
You are the color guard cadence for all to see.
Yes, I will. I promise.
I will remember Thee.