Monday, August 2, 2010
The Remembrance Tree
A new project has started at the ranch, it is something from our hearts. My husband has told me that the only thing really difficult for him as he serves in Afghanistan is standing at attention on the flight line as the coffins of fallen military are carried to the plane for the military service person's final transportation home. He tells me when he performs that duty freedom and democracy mean more to him than at any other time. Our military, especially those serving in harms way in countries where freedom is as yet not complete reality, are possessed of acute information concerning democracy and freedom. Our desire in this new project will be two fold, to honor the fallen, and to make a tangible display of the cost of freedom and democracy, which we hope to share, particularly with students in our area.
Last evening I posted pictures of the fledgling endeavor on facebook, and a member of the military for whom I have developed great respect replied in a positive way, and I made response to his endorsement. As I finished typing the response, I realized it was a good explanation to give the world of our very humble efforts toward remembering The Fallen. I post it now to share here...
"I will post pictures of the two plaques I have finished for the two Navy personnel whose bodies were recently recovered. Yesterday I had camera problems, probably related to how I felt more than the camera. This is a very simple way to honor these our countries' finest, but the point is... to make everyone as aware as possible that a large part of the world has no real concept of democracy, and their citizens lack the personal freedom to learn of it's principles. Therefore, they cannot seek if for themselves. Not only have these our heroes perished for the freedom of our own nations, but for the freedom of all the world's peoples. When circumstances related to defending our own freedom and democracy cause us to act in countries where there is no freedom, it is morally wrong to desert the people of that country to fall to our common enemy who happens to be their oppressor. After we have given them a glimmer of hope concerning their own freedom, to then desert them, makes us unworthy of our own democracy. I believe God will hold us accountable if we do. Many people who are against the war effort, in all honesty, have no regard for the people of Afghanistan. I appreciate so much the ISAF facebook page and the images I find there of very real people, both Soldiers, and by that I mean anyone acting in a military role there, and the people of Afghanistan. I see in their faces the hope of humanity, and especially in the faces of the military, nobility."
I couldn't tell you who most of the actors, sports figures, and politicians are whose faces dominate the internet are... but I do recognize the faces of Soldiers, and the faces of these citizens of the world who are struggling to stand up a democracy in their own countries.
I don't know who history will best remember, but I know who God will best remember. We are going to do whatever we can to assist history."
As I re-read my words, they satisfied me as representing what the goal is of the hours of my life I will spend in this endeavor. I will be researching and collecting the names of all 44 countries of the Coalition Forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I will select and designate a tree in the 13 heavily wooded acres on our little ranch for each country, and there I will hang the names of the fallen. I also will extend to the world the opportunity for participation. I will ask that if you have someone you would like remembered here immediately, that you make your own small wooden plaque. The guidelines will be very simple. The base should be of natural wood, 1x6 stock, and no larger than 8 inches long; it can be painted any color that you like. The name of the military service member, the day they were born, the day they died, their native country, and the country they died serving in should be on one side. Any private message that the sender wishes to write may be on the other side, (both sides will be visible.) Any paint used should be the most durable you can find such as enamel based, and the lettering should especially be done in the most durable product you can find. I will hang the plaque and post here and on facebook a picture of the plaque and the tree it hangs in. I will be making plaques myself, as well as sharing the opportunity with various civic groups, and more importantly area schools. Before this project will be considered completed, every name will be honored and placed on a tree to remind all who come here of the price of freedom and democracy. I will also collect and laminate pictures of Soldiers and the citizens of countries where they serve or have served. Those will be hung in white frames in the chapel we have created in the very old barn which stands on our property. I will be posting pictures of our progress.
If you wish to contribute a plaque dedicated to your own special Service Person, you may send it to: Soldier's Heart Ranch
3296 South FM 331 Rd.
Sealy, Texas 77474
We would appreciate each person sharing this information w th anyone you think would wish to participate in the making of a plaque, or viewing this blog and the dairy of the progress of this project. The email address you may make contact with the project is:
This morning I once again personally offer to all those who have served, especially in this recent struggle, my deepest appreciation of your service and sacrifice, and I pledge, never... will we take lightly what has been given, or forget your name.