This past Friday evening, our church's youngest choir went to sing at a local Veteran's Home. The choir is appropriately named "Churchbringers" as they, indeed, take church to those who may find it difficult to attend church outside their residence.
One of our pastors is currently the leader of this choir and the children love him. He adores the children and is a people-person through and through. He has a son in the military and so was more than willing to sit and listen to the various stories of some of our nations greatest heroes.
For about 45 minutes, the children sang hymns, spiritual and patriotic songs. Between songs, Pastor quoted various generals, presidents, and famous patriots in their defense of the Bible and God in our government. It truly was powerful. With every general and patriot's name, he had the undivided attention of the audience. An audience consisting of men and women who served, in one way or another, under names such as MacArthur, Patton, Eisenhower, Kennedy, etc.
As the children sang "Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies" and The National Anthem, I looked around the room. Tears came to my eyes as these once strong men and women who gave so very much for us sang with all of their hearts. I pictured these men and women as they must have been in their late teens and early twenties & thirties. How good looking. How confident. Their entire lives before them. Oh, they must have trembled with fear on the fighting lines, but they were brave. How many friends and comrades did they see wounded? How many tears did they shed for the ones who gave their very lives?
Now…now they sit in wheelchairs. Their bodies are frail. One woman is blind. Some of their minds are more absent than present. Most cannot sit or stand straight as they once did when they proudly wore the uniform of the country they boldly defended. They are told when to get up, when to go to bed, given food they may or may not like - much like the military, but treated more like children than brave soldiers. Some are forgotten by their families; most forgotten by their country.
But they. They haven't forgotten. Even the ones who seem to have vacant minds. They remember years gone by when they stood proud for their flag. They remembered their childhoods as they each sang "Jesus Loves Me" along with the little ones…the little ones who made them smile and brought a light to their eyes. Did they remember their own now-grown children when they were that small? Did they have an ache to go back….back when they had purpose? Back when their children and others thought they were the greatest, the smartest, the strongest?
A group of feeble, wrinkled bodies. They don't look like much. They no longer are able to do much.
But they are truly the Greatest Generation.
I am grateful to them.
They are still strong and good looking in my eyes.
|Pastor listens to the stories of heroes|
|The greatest generation|
|LIves just beginning|
|This man saluted our children as they sang patriotic songs|
|This couple has sons currently serving our country|
|Meeting a real-life hero|
|Who's having the most fun?|
|Ice cream sandwiches afterwards!|
|The big kid :)|