Monday, November 15, 2010

quite a morning....

so we went to stand and block the protesters that were
spreading hate.

turns out that they couldn't get very close to the church.
which was way way way awesome.

it was all worked out and the biker guys had the protesters
covered. the rest of us were to line the road and just
be support.

the church provided a whole ton of small american flags to wave.

and there was a ton of people there to hold them.
it was so moving to see all the people who had showed up for this.

so there i stood for a couple of hours along the highway with
a flag.

it gave me a whole lotta time to think.

first of all, just holding the flag was a big deal for me.
if i could have chosen what we were all to hold, it would not
have been an american flag.

but i was there to support the family. so i held it.
and i thought a whole lot about it.
thankfully, it was made in america, and i felt a sense of
relief in that.

many many people had shirts on that said 'thanks' with the boy's
name on it.

it was just four days ago that i posted on veteran's day that
i have trouble with the 'thanks' part as the whole thing is so
darn complicated for me. and 'thanks' just hits me wrong.

again, i understood the sentiment and was glad to see the shirts,
even if i would have worded it differently. i was impressed with
the amount of them along the highway.

and again, it gave me a lot to think about.

i thought of war.
i thought of this kid who 'wanted to make a difference.'
i thought of our concepts of wanting to make differences,
and how they change over time.
i wondered how his family felt about that dream of his.
i thought of our culture and how this group i was standing in
was not your ivy league educated group and i wondered how many
ivy league educated marines there were.

i wondered if those boys walking by in uniform were scared
by all of this, or if it somehow made them feel more brave.

i thought of the protesters and wondered if they'd ever see
the pain that they spread.

and i thought of how amazing it was that there was this huge
response to that pain.

i watched mourners walk by fighting the tears, and my tears
fell with theirs.

i went to block out hate.
i went because no family who is mourning needs to be harassed
by hatred.

i ended up feeling like i walked into something that perhaps
i wasn't....a flag waving american.

and then......the police escort came down the highway with
the family following.

and the most incredible silence i have ever heard in my life

everyone got silent.


and i knew that what i had walked into was something that
we all

my tears fell as that silence echoed inside of me.

praying for peace, i held my flag and watched the family
drive by.


Dharmapala said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Ter. I have so many of the same feelings that you do about these things. When I pictured you waving the American Flag, I got to thinking how fortunate we are to live in a country where we have the freedom to stand in support and we also have the freedom to stand in protest. As I think of the hate on the other side of the fence...well, how sad. I pray for those people who have such hate in their hearts. They are the ones who will suffer the the end.

Grace said...

Very moving commentary on some very complicated issues. May the families of those that have died find comfort. And may the wars end quickly.

Wendy said...

Thank you for your presence, your thoughts, your struggles, your tears and your silence. In some bizarre way, I am also just the tiniest bit grateful to those misled folks who came to disrupt the funeral with their vitriolic words - because, if they had not chosen to target this funeral, I would never have paused on this day to grieve with and for this family. I would not have known of this young man nor been witness to the suffering of those who will miss him every day for the rest of their lives. And now my prayers turn toward changing the hearts and minds of those who would dishonor that loss with their judgment and anger. May their hearts also be broken and filled with compassionate love.

Debbie said...

All I can say is WOW. A very moving post.

I love how so many people came out in suppport of this family. I'm sure they were awed by the presence of so many.

Sandy B. said...

Beautifully written, Terri.

Anonymous said...

wow! ok so i have lived this personally... been the extended family... watched the little boy grow up and only want to be a soldier! watch him follow his dream! in his eyes do good, in his eyes, not worry if people were for or against the war... that was why he was there so we could be for or against the war or anything else... he fought for freedom... all freedoms... every where in america... it was 5 yrs ago that he was killed on OCT 6. not a day goes by that he is not thought of remembered and thanked... thanked so i can vote and have a voice and the protesters too... it goes on and on.... can i suggest the movie "Taking Chance" remember they choose to fight for freedom... that is why we thank them... freedom for everyone!

Beverley said...

Reading this post gave me chills, beautifully written Terri. Whenever I hear on the news here in the UK of another soldier who has lost his life, I always try to stop and think about him and the profound changes that his family will be facing in the days ahead. Despite the risks they still go and do this and for that alone they need to be remembered and honoured. Beverley