Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Still Remembering

On Monday, I attended a Memorial Day ceremony at which were rededicated 29 trees in remembrance of those killed in service to their country. One  was for someone I knew personally. The people leading the ceremony asked us to keep remembering after Memorial Day, so here goes.

I knew Danny as an active and friendly boy. He faithfully attended my Sunday School class in the early 1980s. He was a good friend of my brother. He grew up, entered the Navy, and was deployed to the Persian Gulf.

Early in the Desert Shield operation, Danny -- Engineer's Mate Third Class Daniel M. Jones -- was killed in an electrical accident while performing routine maintenance aboard the  USS Antietam in the Persian Gulf. He was 19.

My brother and I were at the youth conference at the time, working on staff; I as the registrar, he as an SIT. As they do, the community surrounded my brother as he mourned his friend and supported me as I broke the news to others of our church who were present, supported my brother, and mourned myself. Most had never met Danny, but they prayed for his family and for peace.

Danny is listed as having been single at the time of his death, but he left behind a girlfriend. His parents and six siblings keenly felt the loss.  His wake and funeral were very  well attended, a testament to his youth and the lives he touched as a US Sailor. The pastor gave a powerful sermon reminding us that God, too, had lost a son and that a part of Danny would live forever. It was broadcast on the news, reminding our nation of the sacrifices military members and their families make.

People like Danny need to be remembered outside the immediate circle of their family. They died for all of us. Until there is peace, someone will always be dying for our freedom and safety. I close with a prayer that Eleanor Roosevelt carried on her person during World War II.

Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer "am I worth dying for?"

Who did you remember this Memorial Day?

Looking for an excellent learning opportunity for your high schooler? Consider the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park a two week residential camp for teens held in early August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. Celebrating 100 years!

1 comment:

  1. What a powerful message, Melinda. I am sorry for your loss. There is peace knowing that he is with God, but his absence from here is felt every day. Thank you for sharing.