|A solder returning home
Thousands of men and women lined the street, a sea of red shirts waiting.
We were told the plane had landed and to expect the procession to arrive any minute.
We had laughed and chatted as we walked several blocks from our air-conditioned offices to stand and wait in 90 degree heat.
After thirty minutes a hush settled over the crowd.
Blue and red lights flashed in the distance.
Hands over our hearts, feet apart, we watched as they drew closer.
Military men and women stood at attention.
The police car was the first to crawl by, followed by an honor guard of motorcycles.
My breath caught in my throat as the hearse slowly passed.
Then came the family, three cars were needed.
They made eye contact with as many as they could, thankful for the support.
Their faces will haunt me for a very long time.
When the procession was finished, the crowd began to disperse.
Low murmurs could be heard as we walked back.
Gone was the laughter. Gone was the sense of peace.
In its wake were tears and prayers for the family of one young soldier who was coming home for the very last time.
Please remember the sacrifices made in order for us to enjoy the freedom we have today. Say a prayer for the many men and women who put their lives on the line every minute of every day so we don’t have to.