Friday, March 25, 2011

Today I Saw Young People

One often hears of our “Boys” in uniform, “our boys in the military,” and, in recent years “our boys and girls who serve…”  I’ve always understood those phrases. Our military is made up of brave men (referred to as “boys” or “girls”). Today I buried one. He was just 24 and died of one of those freak health things young people sometimes die of. So far they aren’t sure what it was – heart, brain, ?  He just died. No combat. No foul play. No self-infliction.

At the cemetery I stood by the grave about a foot from the honor guard. I did my thing as they respectfully stood at attention. Then they did their thing while I watched. It was impressed on me in a most powerful way just how young these “boys” and “girls” are. One of the young men folding the flag so perfectly and with such commitment couldn’t yet grow a beard. The girl standing nearest to me was clearly younger than my youngest daughter. Both still had pimples. They are just kids! 

To think of any I saw today in war was almost unthinkable. Shouldn’t they have a bit more life experience before taking on such a heavy duty? Shouldn’t they live a little before risking their lives?

I began praying for our “boys” and “girls” more fervently today. Maybe it’s my advancing age, but the thought of losing such young ones was more than a bit sobering.

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