Saturday, June 23, 2007


Many sleep in a graveyard of the sea who died with pride defending democracy. They rest among the shoals and shells, visited by denizens of the deep who keep them company. How many tales they could tell if they were alive and well. But that will never be.

Jimmy died at twenty-one. He had learned to clutch a gun but not much more, you see. He saw fear in the young eyes of the enemy and hesitated momentarily, seconds too long, apparently. He now sleeps eternally in a foreign land across the sea,

What did he dream as they dropped him in his bodybag, leaving the flag behind? That he was too kind to kill, that he got no thrill from war, that he meant no harm, wished he'd stayed on the farm where the air was warm and there was no sea and a sweetheart waited hopefully. But his country called and he responded woefully but willingly.

There lies Sam, a damn fine man, a mom and dad who loved their son, their only one; a grandchild yet unborn, a wife torn from his loving arms as he was thrust into harm's way assuring her he'd be okay and return to her one happy day.

But then he shipped off to fight an enemy across the sea who also had a family, a loving wife and kids still not conceived and mom and dad who believed their son was doing what God wanted him to do. The same God who protected me until there was nothing more He could do but welcome me to eternity.

How confused this God must be who loves all soldiers equally, but must choose who will lose and who will win when both have sinned unwillingly.

There was Jake, a rabbi born to be, who loved God and humanity. How painful it was when God tried to decide who should die and who will taste the blood of victory.

Was Jake's God served in a very special way by his death that fateful day? Jake didn't even have time to pray, to cry, to wonder why this was his day to die.

Some die in the air, some on the ground, some aboard a ship at sea. All believed their time had come. Was that reality? Was that as it was meant to be? Is life a game with God the referee?

Will we ever know what is so? Who keeps the score? Who minds the store? Or is life just luck and nothing more?


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