"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thankful on Thursday - Family (II)

On Monday we remembered those who were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. There were many heroes that day. People who died trying to save others. From the passengers on United Flight 93, to the firemen, policemen, and other civil servants who were trying to rescue those trapped in the buildings. Since then the men and women of our armed forces have been working and fighting to reduce the threat that this would ever happen again. We are, I hope, thankful to God for all these people and their sacrifice.

Thinking about this reminds me that within my own family there are similar heroes. My Uncle G, who I mentioned last week served in World War 2. After returning home he worked for an arsenal, and while it was not as dangerous as the European theater, it was not your typical job. He retired from there several years ago.

My Uncle Leslie, my Dad's brother, served in the Pacific theater in WW2. The most I know about this is that Dad said the letters he had received from Uncle Leslie made him wonder about how rough it would be when they (Dad was in Europe) went to the Pacific. Thankfully, that was never a necessity.

Dad, as I indicated above, served in World War 2 (and Korea). He was with the 42nd Rainbow Division in WW2. This is the division that liberated Dachau. I don't know if I ever saw him more upset than when he would hear a report of some group claiming the Holocaust was just fraud.

In my generation, my brother Gene served in Viet Nam. He is thirteen years older than I, and my earliest memories of him are his wedding after he came back. It's not an experience he talks about much, but a framed picture of the Wall hangs in his living room.

My nephew Jason, one of Gene's sons, never served in the armed forces. He did, however, become an Indiana State Police Officer. In January of 2000 he was on his way home near the end of a shift. He stopped to help a wrecker pull a car out of ditch (icy roads). Another car slid and struck Jason. Just shy of his 25th birthday, with his first child, Cody, still months from being born, he died.

I am thankful for those who serve. I am thankful for the families that support them and live with the knowledge of the risks that are being taken. I am thankful for the hope of seeing Dad and Jason again, when we sing together praises to the One who came not to be served, but serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.

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