These words, “I’ll be home soon” have been spoken by many in the military services over hundreds of years. And today, on Memorial Day 2021 we honor many more who have given of their service and their lives. Today we also honor firefighters, lifeguards, police, medical personnel and first responders. Where would we be today without them. They carried us through the Covid Pandemic of this past year and many have left loved ones behind as duty called them to help others. My heart is full and tender as I think of the loss that has been felt in every home over time. I have chosen this title for my post today as these were the last words my uncle wrote in letters to his parents, his sister, and his new wife. He served in the Army as a fighter pilot during WW ll. My children and I have all of his letters and followed them from the time he enlisted until the day he wrote what was to be his last one. On that fateful day over the Indian Ocean, his plane was shot down and his body was not recovered for three months. Initially, my grandparents and his wife were notified that his plane was shot down, but they new nothing else. Every minute of those three months was anguish as my grandparents, my mother and their daughter in law prayed for my uncle’s safe return. Until one day, they received a knock at their door and the news that his body had been found in a small French fishing village. He would not be home soon, but went straight to Heaven. A newly married wife, parents and a sister were devastated at the loss of this extraordinary human being who honored his country enough to enlist and fight for it. Although my brother and I were not born at this time, our uncle is bigger than life to us and we look forward to meeting him when it is our time to go to Heaven. I know our story is not unique, but we feel his loss every day just as so many do and we are so grateful for his service to our country and for the many others who have proudly served the United States of America.
Have a beautiful Memorial Day!