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Remembering heroes, cherishing hope

A Christian Science perspective.

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One Memorial Day, I visited a small town in Maryland near the Antietam National Battlefield. Still considered to be the most devastating one-day battle in American history, the Civil War soldiers who fell there are buried in the nearby Antietam National Cemetery. Every Memorial Day, tribute is paid to fallen heroes from all wars.

At the emotional peak of the ceremony, a soldier played taps. Cannons were fired, and an airplane flew overhead. Sadness permeated the air.

Then I saw a happy formation of young schoolchildren come marching down the street in the parade. There must have been about 50 of them, the girls in white dresses and the boys in white shirts. Each carried a small flag. Their little faces broke into grins when they caught sight of their parents. They waved, they smiled, and some of them laughed. They were proud to be in the parade. Their joy transformed the day for me.

To me, that ribbon of white, those precious little children, represented purity and innocence. They reminded me of the eternal childlikeness – the spirituality, hope, and innocence of every man and woman. That included those who had gone on as war heroes, and those who were marching and applauding that day in honor of them. It also embraced those overseas who had fought in other wars on behalf of their nations. Every one of us is God's child, eternally cared for by Him. And all are at peace in God's love.


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