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‘Row Upon Row’

Have you ever been to Arlington?
Where tombstones stand row upon row;
Great soldiers turn to granite ghosts,
Harboring invincible souls.

Their sacrifice of flesh and blood
Lay buried deep in freedom’s sod
Brave hearts who will never know
The solemn honor we bestow.

The earth lays still in Arlington,
Where tombstones stand row upon row
And the flag flies proudly in the sky.
Oh let this scene forever stand
Reminding us of what we’ve been given.

We hold these lost in high esteem;
They pave the road to all our dreams
Let freedom ring, let the nation sing.
‘Til the whole earth will know
How proud we are of each row upon row.

(ROCKWALL, TX — May 28, 2018) I can answer the first question.  Yes, I’ve been to Arlington.  I went there the first time as a tourist, seeing the tomb of the Unknown, taking the tour of the famous people buried there.

The next time I went I was with our son who had recently returned from his first tour in Iraq.  None of his men were lost, but he did lose a fellow company commander.  A canal had to be drained to find enough remains to identify the Marine officer.  Those remains are buried in a holy place…Arlington National Cemetery.  I think of his wife and children often.  It was a hard day to see my son weeping over the loss of his dear friend.

My next trip to Arlington was to see the grave of the first female Marine officer killed in Iraq.  She was engaged to one of our son’s groomsmen.  Again, a very difficult day to watch our son’s grief.

The only way I knew these Marines was through prayer.  I never knew either of them personally but had prayed over their pictures during their deployments.  I still have their pictures.  Their faces are frozen in time.  They haven’t aged.  Their faces are still filled with the look of expectations and a bright future.  The God of Angel Armies had other plans…plans to take them to Himself.

Their future became part of Memorial Day 2018.

I don’t want to forget them.  It enables me to remember the pain of the grief.  That pain reminds me of what I’ve been given…that which cost them everything…the cost of freedom.  A very expensive gift.

My Savior paid the same price…His life, for our freedom…freedom from the penalty and pain of death & separation from the Presence of the Father.  I don’t ever want to forget that sacrifice either.  I don’t want you to forget it either.

His pain was not our loss, but our gain.  Every day is Memorial Day…remembered and celebrated.  It’s hard to celebrate at Arlington or Calvary.  But we must never forget what has been bought and paid for by the blood of others…our fallen heroes and our Eternal Savior.  His Truth has set us free.

That’s a good word.

By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.

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