Saturday evening our church (WFPC) was Full to overflowing with the over 400 visitors and volunteers who attended a dinner designed to recognize and honor local veterans who had been decorated with a “Purple Heart” during their military service.
In her welcome, Rebekah talked about her uncle Pete’s Purple Heart, earned posthumously after losing his young life in the cold waters of the North Atlantic during World War Two.
“I want to thank you for providing me with this opportunity to share Joseph Peter Alexander’s story,” she said. “I always felt cheated of that relationship with my uncle; but seeing some of you from that era being recognized tonight gives me a sense of connection to him, and to so many who did not come home.”
Uncle Pete was lost after his ship, the Angelina, was torpedoed by A German U-boat.
Colors were presented, veterans were honored, the national anthem was sung, a military band played, dinner was served, and speeches were made.
Interestingly, rather than focusing on their wounds, the overwhelming sentiment of the evening was gratitude. Gratitude for those who serve, gratitude for those who sacrifice, gratitude for the support of those at home, gratitude for a nation that lives under a banner of freedom, gratitude for the life that we have.
And I am grateful to have been there, to have been in a room stuffed full with people who understand that life is not about “me,” but that it is about serving, and caring, and working together and – most of all – loving.
And to love, unselfishly, is a demonstration that we are made – even though we are sl broken – in the image of God.
Peace – in every way – DEREK