Monday, May 2, 2011

The Power of Words

I had a different post lined up for today, but since the announcement last night, 10-year-old images keep flashing through my head and no post feels appropriate.

I don't want to preach and I don't want to celebrate. I want to remember all the amazing people who have died for my country. Last week, I was in Washington D.C. and visiting the monuments. What really struck me were the words engraved there. Today, they seem like the right words to share.

From the Lincoln Memorial:


Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream...

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Field of Stars at the WWII Memorial
From the World War II Memorial: 

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory...

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. 

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God. ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt


From the Korean War Memorial:

Our Nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew, and a people they never met. 

                                                       ~~
I am the proud granddaughter of a Korean War Veteran who received a Purple Heart. May we all take today to remember the sacrifices made for our country and our freedom.

20 comments:

  1. A poignant post. I am forever grateful to those who defend us.

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  2. Wow...wow! This was an inspired post. Thank you.

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  3. A wonderful post my friend! It has been MANY years since I was back in D.C., but your pictures and words brought back that very reverent experience for me. So happy to read those words again today. Thank you.

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  4. I have to admit, I'm a little choked up after reading this. Thanks, Jenn.

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  5. Beautiful and truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. Well said by you and quite an impressive group of people. And you are all so right.

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  7. A beautiful post by my beautiful daughter. Love you girlie.

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  8. Your post gave me chills, Jenn. I'm glad that families of the victims (and the survivors) have justice, and in many ways I'm grateful for the spontaneous patriotic response so many Americans have expressed over what happened yesterday. But I cannot separate from my mind the image of the Bin Laden supporters (and America haters) who cheered and celebrated when on 9/11 ten years ago. I don't want to be painted with that brush.

    I remember the first time I visited a military cemetery. It was the American cemetery in Manila. I was 13, and the image is one I'll never forget. My child mind hadn't anticipated the sheer number of WWII graves. I was touched even further when at 16 I visited the Arizona Memorial in Honolulu and the Punch Bowl Cemetery. The Punch Bowl was poignant because it included recently killed war dead--at that time it was Vietnam.

    I grew up and around military bases. Their gift to this country and our freedoms can never be appreciated enough.

    In the oft quoted thought, "We gave up tomorrows for your todays."

    Thanks for a wonderfu post.

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  9. Thank you Jenn. Beautifully said.

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  10. You can't hear the sound I made when I finished reading this post. Just know that I'm grateful and touched beyond words.

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  11. This post is just ... powerful. My nephew is an army vet, honorably discharged after his left leg was almost left paralyzed in an expolsion. I'm sending him this blog link. So moving. Thank you so, so much for sharing this today.

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  12. Excellent timing, Jenn. This is the perfect post for today.

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  13. This is awesome. My family is mostly military. Thank you for this.

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  14. BTW, I posted a link to this on my blog.

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  15. Thank you to everyone for your comments and your kind words. I'm happy to hear that these amazing leaders and their quotes touched you the same way they did me.

    It makes this post worth writing to have such a wonderful audience. *hugs*

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  16. Thanks for the reminder of all that has been given to make us free.

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  17. I'm glad I read this today. Thanks for a beautiful reminder.

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  18. Very profound words indeed.

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  19. Great post. I linked over from TC's blog. New follower. Nice to meet you!

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