Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Committee

As I looked out from the pulpit this morning,
I could see all the people
In our living Memorial Committee.

A lady in a wheelchair
Who, at the age of twelve
On her home island of Hawaii,
Watched Japanese planes
Fly across the sky
On their way to bomb
Pearl Harbor.

Across the aisle
Sat another lady,
Whose young Jewish parents had given
Her away to a Dutch couple,
Just before they were arrested
By the Nazis
And taken to a Concentration Camp
Where they died.

Three rows behind her,
Was a man who had been
Amongst the first American troops
To liberate European Jews from
Hitler’s Death Camps.

Behind him was a farmer’s wife,
Whose brother
Had been seriously wounded
On a beach in Normandy
June 6, 1944.

Four pews in front of her
Sat another man
Whose father
Had been a fighter pilot
Over the English Channel
And into France.

On the other side
Sat another woman,
Whose husband
Fought alongside
Fellow marines
Across several
South Pacific islands.

In the soprano section
Of the church choir,
Sat the preacher’s wife,
Whose father had been rescued
Off the coast of Italy
After his British destroyer
Was torpedoed and sank by
Enemy aircraft.

And sitting quietly,
At the back of the choir
In the tenor section,
Was a paratrooper,
Who at the age of twenty,
Had miraculously survived
The Battle of Bastogne
In that deadly winter
Of December 1944.

With such members
In our Memorial team,
We will never forget
Those who served
And died for Freedom.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1 comment:

Quotidian Grace said...

Great reminder, Stushie. Thanks. We only have to look around us to find someone to thank this Memorial Day weekend.

My husband is on the phone right now with his cousin who still suffers from wounds of the Viet Nam War.