The scorching summer day came to an end at the prison camp as the ragged prisoners gathered together for a few moments of companionship. They made a somber procession as they tottered closer together, walking skeletons shrunken inside their rags, some barely able to walk. The gaunt faces stared, showing no emotion except weariness.
Suddenly, holding a rolled-up blanket, two prisoners stood. They squinted into the distance to be sure that they were not seen by their captors. Each man held the corner of a blanket high over his head and they let the blanket unroll. Attached to the inside of the blanket was the cherished flag of their country!
One of the men had smuggled the flag in. At the time of his capture he had taken the flag and hidden it by wrapping it around his chest, under his shirt. Covered by his uniform, his captors had not discovered it. By moving it from place to place, with the help of other prisoners, he kept it safe and hidden until he arrived at the camp.
When they saw the flag, a ripple of amazement ran through the group. Forgetting the misery of their crowded conditions, the scanty meals and the lack of medical help, the men started to smile. Their thoughts again turned to home. They remembered the beauty of their homeland and their loving families. Each was left with his own private memories.
Silence yawned. Their hearts were too full to allow words to be spoken. Some men's eyes were moist, others were crying openly, as they gazed at the beautiful flag. Softly, but with an increasing depth of feeling, they sang the national anthem.
I have had this little story for a long time now, and I read it often. At this time of year when we celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day, it's fitting to think about all those who serve and who have served our country. There are so many brave men and women out there to whom we owe ourl ives and our freedom. Sometimes we forget how lucky and blessed we are to live in a free country, with so many opportunities. This little story reminds me to always be grateful for my freedom.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Kate and Natalie brought us these beautiful flowers.