My Musings

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Struggling Against The Angel of Death

As I continue to work at Arlington National Cemetery, I often hear amazing stories of love, valor, and heroism. It is no joke that Arlington National Cemetery truly is filled with thousands and thousands of real American heroes. If you are ever in the national capital area, I invite to take a walk through this garden of stones and contemplatively muse over the stories of honor and valor that rest within this place.

Early this week, in fact, I heard a story that really made me stand in awe at the determination of one such soldier who served in World War II. His widow shared with us an amazing story that I will never forget.

Late one night this lady was awakened in the middle of the night. Her husband was overseas fighting for our freedoms during the peak of World War II. She had heard no noise. The phone had not rang. There was nobody at the door. Yet something, she said, had awoken her and her heart was beating fast with worry for her husband.

She crawled out of bed and spend the next several hours praying for his safety. She was just consumed with worry and being a Christian lady, she continued to pray.

A short time later she received a communication from the army. Her husband had been severely wounded and was in critical condition. Again her heart raced.

A few days later she received some more details. Sometime during the night that she was awakened, her husband received some wounds that very well should have been fatal. His unit was pushed away from him and he was left for dead miles from friendly lines. For the next several hours he crawled dragging himself over ten miles to link back up with American forces. He had lost a lot of blood, was dehydrated, and was not able to walk. Yet something kept pushing him forward for over ten miles of excruciating pain and agony. He later told her that all he could think about was seeing her again.

He fully recovered and died over sixty years later in late January of 2008. We buried him at Arlington National Cemetery early this week.

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