posted on May 27, 2018 12:47
One of the most difficult things I’ve had to explain to my kids is why I wear a black bracelet that says: “DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal USCG KIA 24APR04 OIF”
“A long time ago before you were born and before I even met mommy, I went to a place to fight bad guys and keep them from hurting good people. One-day daddy was at work protecting people, when it was time to go back to and get more food. The other men who did daddy’s job came to help when a bad guy came and killed them. I was really mad and sad for a long time, but then I realized something wonderful. They wouldn’t want me to be sad! They would want me to be happy with the gift I was given and to do something really good with it. The best way I can say ‘I love you’ to them is to live, have a family and love and help people as much as I can. In fact, I named you (Natalie) after Mr. Nate as a way to say ‘THANK YOU’.”
I recognize that my life is paid for many times over. I believe the appropriate reaction to the price isn’t sadness, somberness, or depression. My friends wouldn’t want me to live my life in pain. They would want me to be happy in remembrance of them. I know this, because that is what I would want if it was Nate driving his kids to school, Chris taking his wife to dinner or Mike throwing a ball for his dog.
In the same way, if you are in Christ, you have hope. If Christ is your Lord, you have a source of joy. In spite of all of your darkest circumstances and pain, you have a hope that is far above all the troubles this earth can throw at you. Relishing in pain will only bring—more pain but acknowledging and dwelling in the inextinguishable joy of God will carry you through even your most trying hours.
On this day, we must hold this perspective: joyous thankfulness in remembrance of the lives that were sacrificed obediently on our behalf. We sent our best to do our bidding, and they gave us their everything.
May God bless you- and may God bless America!