Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunrise

By the time I post this, most of my blog readers will be in bed enjoying a peaceful night’s rest. They will wake up to celebrate Easter with their families and friends. They will give thanks for all of the blessings in their lives and pray for our safety in a land so far away. They will picnic, shop, stay at home, and enjoy each other’s company. I say this because these are the things I would be doing if I were in their place.

A majority will go to church for a sunrise service and then go home to an Easter dinner as a lot of American traditions go. Being someone that makes it a hobby to “watch and pattern” people, I find it interesting that Americans, in general, go to church at least twice a year; Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday. This is interesting to me because of the difference between being at home and being here. At home, you have the luxury to sleep in on Sundays and go to church as an obligatory measure or out of guilt.

Here, we go to enjoy Chaplain Luken’s sermons, stories and his company. We also go regularly because, for some of us, it’s a way to find peace in such a turbulent place. It provides us with the luxury of time to prepare should the unexpected happen. Preparing to meet our maker is one of the things that most Americans don’t think of until the circumstances are in front of them and things are beyond their control. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what the passengers of the hijacked planes were thinking on September 11th. Were they in a state of “sheep panic” in which they were so afraid to act and at the same time to make peace with God in preparation for the inevitable? Were they drumming up the courage to stop the hijackers like the passengers did on United Airlines Flight 93? What about the people in the twin towers, were they having the same thoughts and prayers? The only ones that know are the people that were there and God. One thing I know is that the firefighters, police, and military personnel that were on hand to help rescue the victims knew that they were heading into a situation like none they’ve ever encountered before. They knew of the danger and, without regard for their own safety, they chose to go and help anyway. How many of us would do the same?

When I was in basic training, one of the drill sergeants had a quote painted on his door that he told us to memorize and live by it. The quote was by George Orwell, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf”. It really didn’t make much sense to me until a few years later and half a world away. I find that as America is in turmoil because of political behavior, we still hold on to that quote and stay true to the oath we took when we enlisted. It’s sad to realize that oaths, promises, and vows have come to mean so little in our society, except by those of us who swore to defend those ideals.

Right now it is Easter morning in Iraq and some of us will be able to attend the sunrise service as others will have to remain on duty. We will pray for the health and safety of our loved ones back home, for the families of our friends that we’ve lost, for the recovery of our friends that have been wounded. We will enjoy a brief moment of peace until either the service is over or we get another rocket attack. We will be amused and annoyed as some politicians and organizations in the states scream about separation of church and state, getting us out of Iraq, and badmouthing each other in order to achieve their personal goals under the guise of “for the people”. Us, we’ll continue to live our lives here in a way that would confound most people. We will also continue to “stand ready to do violence in their behalf” because we swore to do so. If given the chance, I wonder if most politicians would do the same without regard for their own safety and welfare. It’s a huge commitment to ask of any one person and I doubt that a majority of them would rise to the occasion.

In closing, I hope that all of you back home enjoy Easter with your families and friends. Stop and talk to God and tell Him what’s on your mind (He already knows). Make peace with yourself your family and prepare to meet our maker because you just never know and hindsight is always 20/20 but it’s also usually painful. I especially hope that, at some point in your day, you stop and think about what our country would be or wouldn’t be like if there weren’t “rough men ready to do violence in your behalf”.

Enjoy some of the sunrise pictures from Iraq and know that we are thankful for being able to see another one. That is our blessing; we've survived to see another sunrise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and wise post. Here's hoping you and your fellow soldiers enjoy many more Easters to come!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love that quote! How accurate and true it is and humbling as well.

Please do know that you and other troops are prayed for, both publically and privately, not just at Easter.

Be careful and stay safe. Thanks for another great post!


5:23 PM  
Blogger kissmekate said...

Great post Coconut.

The sunrise pics are amazing!

Stay safe.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Hi there!

Yep, the photos are lovely. The only scenes that I paint (well) are those of sunsets and sunrises. I love them. I just wanted to pop in and tell you that my father enjoyed your blog. I showed it to him Monday morning and he really liked it. he read it for quite some time.

Hope you're keeping your head low, rough man.


3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Coconut Commando, Thank you Thank you and Thank you. Orwell said it right, and I am aware as I lay my head down, how much effort goes in to my safety. I pray God will reward each and every one of you for the hearts you have, and I hope you know the guilt I feel even as a Grandma of eleven, I wish I could do something for you. I know I could send you the most ultimate cookies (not bragging just fact) and if you want me to just go to my blog and leave a comment with a mailing address.....please know I still pray for you and your unit. May your future Easters bring blessings beyond belief for you and yours....and may you know as you lay your tired head down that there are people hear appreciating what you do and feeling so inadequate and undeserving and hoping to bake some cookies. Psalm 91 over all of you, God Bless, Judee

5:51 AM  

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