Memorial weekend. Flags are a flyin’ and families gather, and kids know this is a precursor to that long awaited summer vacation. And many folks stop and remember those who have paid the price for freedom. Many images capture the honor, loyalty and unselfish gift of giving up one’s life for that of their country. Is it not a noble and ‘lump in the throat’ moment, when we put our personal agendas aside and remember? As I write this, my American flag salutes the bravery of so many–flying fiercely in this Indiana wind.
But it is the image of those white crosses in cemeteries– that stretch beyond number–that got me thinking. Sure, they mark the soul that has gone to Glory, but if we put those crosses touching one another, do they not form a fence? A steadfast, protective barrier to the forces that threaten our freedom?
The threats–not of other ethnicities making America home, but of those with thoughts of terrorism and destruction who invade our buildings, marathons, and workplaces with evil on their minds.
I see those fence-like crosses, with soldiered spirits in uniforms, uniting across our great land still standing duty, continuing their guard, oh so many years and weeks and moments, ago.
These small white crosses are sentries, each with a unique story, who took an oath to protect and follow orders. Even if such orders would mean an empty chair at the dinner table. An absent brother or sister from every Christmas morning or graduation. A daughter or son, God help us, never to call and say— from the other end of the phone, “Hey Mom!”
We go on with our lives and when May rolls around, we think of a three day weekend, full of race cars (remember….I am from Indianapolis), barbecues, and sleeping in. Of yard work and spring cleaning, and get togethers. Well….get togethers, for some.
But this May, I see those little white crosses as fences, with shadowy figures behind whispering to me a promise of security.
I will not forget their task of protecting the country that I love and call home.
Little white fences, indeed; formed by strangers who crossed that line for my freedom. May I never forget.