Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

A year ago I was still trying to figure out what was going on as I worked through my first month in Iraq. I knew that Memorial Day was a holiday that was changed for me from that date on.

And it is different this year as well. I spent most of the meetings at church today thinking about folks who died in Iraq during my time. Folks who "worked for me." J.J. Hurstie. Umran. As I listened to those around me talk about the stresses inflicted on them by rising gas prices and increases in food costs, I didn't get upset. It is the world they know. They are blessed to be in that world and I'm happy for them. I'm honored to have participated in the services which are intended to provide them the security to operate in that world full of concern about financial pressures.

I wasn't on the convoy that killed JJ and Hurstie. But I think about it often. And I can't even picture Umran's home- a place that should be a sanctuary, but where he was murdered.

These three don't count in the totals I see and hear in the U.S. media- two Australian contractors and an Iraqi local national don't merit the attention. But they merit mine. They worked for the U.S., and I supervised that effort. So they count to me.

And they count to their families. I can't replace the voids left in their families, but I do pray for them. That their families may remember the good of these men. That they may be proud of them. That they will overcome the challenges that face them and they can move on, and flourish, even. That my conduct and that of my family may in some small way honor the sacrifices these three made for us, and for the people of Iraq.

Hurstie, J.J., Umran: thank you.

1 comment:

Dana said...

Enjoyed a good day deployed in the Balkans. A couple of events, a Murph Challenge, and a brief event with a moment of silence at 1500.

We remember.