Written on Thursday, May 31, 2012 by Chris Skates
I always try and make sure that I don’t treat Memorial Day like just another day off. Two years ago, I attended a Memorial Day parade. Last year I did a “Band of Brothers” marathon at my house. What a powerful movie. It makes me appreciate just a bit more what our veterans go through on our behalf. This year I sat down during the hot part of the day and watched some internet video of the Changing of the Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After that, as a true patriotic American, I flipped on the TV to find a war movie. That way I could feel I did my part to remember. Instead, I channel surfed by the Memorial Day concert at the capital. And there I was stopped cold.
Bridgette Cain, a wife of a soldier, Norman Cain had written a letter about her husband and the father of her children. Specialist Cain won’t be coming home. He died in the line of duty. I won’t attempt to recreate the letter here. It was recited very poignantly by the actress Selma Blair who I now have a new respect for. If you haven’t seen this concert (it was broadcast by PBS) I strongly urge you to find it and watch it.
However, this piece is not to celebrate the entertainers, singers or the bands, each of whom did a wonderful and inspiring job. This is an article about a little girl, a little girl like the one I once had before she grew up. Following the letter, Trace Adkins sang a song for the Cain family and Norman Cain’s little girl cried and cried. She was only five years old. She cried with great heaving sobs, they showed pictures of her being read to by her Daddy before he left for war. They showed pictures of him holding her and her looking up at him with adoration.
She will cry more. She will cry often, just like all those family members all around this nation who suffered this Memorial Day in ways that most of us cannot imagine. I cried as I watched. Now, maybe I understand a little clearer what the cost of freedom truly is.
Dear God, my God, please send your comfort to that little girl and to all the little boys and girls this day who have lost a parent or a brother or sister to these seemingly never ending wars. Heavenly Father, let the loss of fine brave young men and women like Norman Cain not be for nothing. Somehow, in all this bloodshed let something…somehow…let something good result. Heavenly Father I pray that those still serving all over this world and in particular those in harm’s way would be blessed. Bless them Father that they may be led once again by men who have at least as much honor as the service men who they are in charge of.
Lord, let the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, experience a time where their leadership, especially at the highest levels will be occupied by men who truly understand the meaning of the words, freedom and liberty. Raise up leaders for these men and women who do not see these only as words worn out from misuse. Let them instead understand them in the context of your Divine inspiration and truth, to understand them in the way in which they were intended.
Raise up leaders for these servicemen Lord who will recognize that Democracy can only be shared with a people who have a basis upon which Democracy can be built. Let these leaders realize the folly of sending our young people to die in a foreign land for the freedom of others while our own political leadership cedes the freedom of our homeland as they force upon our population a State that is ever more powerful in its authority yet ever more incompetent in the application of that authority.
Dear Lord, let the freedom that these men fought for reign supreme once again in the nation that they fight for. And we pray Dear Father that this nation which you built shall honor and glorify you again and that this land of free people shall not perish from the Earth.
Chris Skates is the author of the novel, Going Green: For Some It Has Nothing To Do With The Environment. He has been published in dozens of national magazines and has authored multiple technical articles in his field of Chemistry.