As I researched my next novel, I read various accounts of World War II. The most poignant pieces were the letters that passed back and forth between soldiers and family members, wives, girlfriends/boyfriends and friends. They are filled with such emotion over the separation and the effects of war. These letters were the cement that kept families together. Their arrival was coveted on both sides of the ocean like a drowning person looks for a life buoy.
            The separation to serve their country was distressing for both the soldier and their families. Families were left without providers and had to adjust their lifestyle or leave children to work for a lot less money. They worried about whether they would see their loved ones again. Soldiers faced undesirable conditions and no comforts. Love of their family and loved ones was a memory instead of a physical reality they could touch base with and refresh.
            These men fought for their lives and saw, smelled, and tasted death – caught in a riptide not able to escape. They were firmly held in place by love of country and duty. Many wrote about how they would never forget what they’d seen. Some described the horrors in their letters and wanted people to pass it on so the truth about Hitler and the war was known, while others refused wanting to spare their loved ones the horrors that they had seen.
            Soldiers often said that they had to be there to fight the evil they discovered as they fought in the Pacific and Europe. They did not regret their decision and believed they were fighting for their families and friends, especially their children to remain free.
Unfortunately, many brave men made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives. Some bodies were not able to be shipped home for burial or proper mourning by their families. Their deaths left a gaping hole in the hearts and lives of their loved ones which was difficult to overcome.
It is these man and women that we remember this Monday. People from all wars and conflicts who served in the armed forces and gave their lives for our country to remain a democracy. As we remember the dead, let us also remember the living – the families left to mourn who also gave an ultimate sacrifice and have had to pick up the pieces of their lives and live without their loved ones.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4

Categories: Family