Friday, September 9, 2011
A moment not lost.........
We were hearing advertisements on the radio at night or early in the morning about the WWI Memorial and Museum in Kansas City. The only reason these caught our attention was because Kevin Costner was doing the speaking—his voice is recognizable.
We were going to do a weekend get away to KC before the push of two jobs the guys were working on and decided that the WW I Museum and Memorial was one of the things we would take in. Even though we had been to Kansas City many times, I’m ashamed to say we didn’t know it was there and had never visited it.
It was educational, enlightening, interesting, all the things I know that any museum and memorial are going for to attract people.
As we wandered our way around and through, you couldn’t help but notice a group of young service men in fatigues going through as well. It was a self guided tour, so we kept bumping into a few of them here and there throughout. We also encountered a man about our age accompanying two elderly gentlemen in wheelchairs who were veterans; you could tell by their hats and the patches and emblems on them.
It was a moving exhibit. The reality of war always is. You couldn’t help but read about the hardships they suffered in the trenches, with mud, cold, snow, and sickness without being moved. As I stood reading the time line of a portion of the war, getting close to the end of it all, explaining the armistice that was signed in 1918, I turned and was caught up in what was one of the most poignant moments of the entire tour for me.
As I had been reading absorbed in the information and pictures before me I had not noticed the elderly veteran in the wheelchair who had rolled up beside me on my left, or the young man in fatigues who now stood on my right. One who knew war and had fought for this nation we live in, and one who was in the midst of it now. I was flanked not just physically but emotionally by two men who had fought, and were fighting for my freedom, the freedom of others, and the liberty that we all enjoy. The moment was not lost on me. I choked, tears came to my eyes and, I’m sorry to say, I had to walk away. If I had tried to speak to either one of them to say thank you I would have lost it.
9-11 is this weekend.
As we are hearing things about all the events planned for this weekend, the scene at the WWI Memorial came to me. 9-11 was an act of war, and the horrors of that day ten years ago are still with us, just as the horrors of every war America has ever fought in are still with us. But as I think about all that happened, I take comfort in the fact that like wars before, there are those that have battled and will continue to battle on that we can live in freedom in this nation.
I may not have been able to say it that day but I can now………..