They look nothing alike on the outside, seemingly with nothing in common. Yet every year thousands of Bikers and Boy Scouts, along with other people from all walks of life come together with Wreaths Across America to help honor, remember, and teach others about those fine men and women who served our country either as an Airman, Marine, Sailor, Solider, and Coast Guardsman. This is one of those holiday events that somewhere in the back of my mind I knew about but never participated. This year I was invited to join my husband’s company to volunteer. I learned that the laying of wreaths is more than just laying down a wreath. It is also about remembering one who is no longer with us, those who love of country, and family drove them to serve; to say their name out loud and thank them for their service.
We laid wreathes at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. I estimate there were a dozen semi’s full of boxes of wreaths. I’ve never seen so many wreaths in one place and the smell was wonderful! The volunteers lined up at each truck waiting for the doors to open at 10:30 to get their wreaths to lay on a grave, Groups of volunteers, like my friends Jr. R.O.T.C. Cadets, worked on completing one section at a time. Others, like my group, had several people they knew who were buried there. We walked with them to those sections and stood with them as they remembered their friends and loved ones. I took one of my wreaths and walked to the back of the section where there weren’t any and picked an airman who served in WWII. ( I am an Air Force wife! )
While I did, I thought of my dad’s grave and believed that a stranger took a moment and did the same for him.
A friend of mine parents are buried in this national cemetery. In passing last week I told her I was going and she said “lay one on my dad’s grave for me.” I said sure. Technology is very handy, using my husbands phone for the cemetery plot search, and mine to note down the information we were able to locate my friends fathers grave site just by his name. I could have been sad she had lost her dad just as I’ve lost mine. Instead I was happy I could say “thank you” to him and let him know she is a great friend and talks of him enough I feel like it wasn’t a strangers grave I was placing that wreath on.
I thought I was writing this post about Christmas Wreaths but that’s not it. I’m writing because I love seeing someone doing something nice. Everyday we are all bombarded with bad news. It doesn’t matter where it comes from; national news, local, ourselves. Life is hard. If the bad is all we focus on, life will be bleak. This post is about good news. The good news that God has had His hand on my life long before I paid any attention to Him. He has His hand on those Bikers who love God and Country and are so proud to show it. On the Boy Scouts who could be sleeping in but instead get up early to serve and learn to honor men and women who are long passed. This post is about God who sent Jesus at Christmas for us; to be born, live, teach, and save us from ourselves.
This Christmas I hope you get a moment to look back and see where God’s hand has been on your life. I hope that whether you believe in Jesus or not, you can see good in others and in these last few days of December may you be the recipient of some of that goodness
Isaiah 9: 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
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