In recent weeks, I’ve been in schools testing students. In our Pre-K building, there is a wall of shadowboxes dedicated to those from Pike County, Georgia who died serving our country. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but I felt the familiar nudge to take photos of each of these boxes – perhaps to dig deeper into the lives of these fallen soldiers at a later time. Today, I realize that I needed these reminders now more than ever before – that there is a life and a story beneath each headstone in our nation’s military cemeteries. One of those, the story of Robert Eugene Oxford, is shared in a 2017 post. You can read it here.
These heroes all have stories. They were each somebody’s precious baby who lost their first tooth and skinned their knee – maybe all in the same week. They decided to serve their country, got a buzz cut, and polished their shoes. They sacrificed their own lives so that we could enjoy freedom.
I can only imagine what they would think if we offered a hand into their graves to bring them back for a week to see how we have managed their sacrifice. Have we been good stewards of their investment in our country?
Something to think about as we watch the news and wonder.
On this Memorial Day, I reflect on the sacrifices and selfless love of these men from Pike County, Georgia who served the United States of America and gave their lives. I’ll listen to Lee Greenwood’s Proud to Be An American this afternoon as we cook out at a state park campground in Juliette, Georgia. And I’ll remember that while we have much to talk about as a nation on a battlefield all its own, I’m still one very proud American, because these brave men and others like them were part of making it happen.
I must also give a special thanks to Todd Child, a former Teacher of the Year in Pike County who is retiring this year. His tireless efforts in honoring those who have served, along with his research, have helped make this memorial wall possible through the American Legion.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.