Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 5 Visit a War Memorial


(Please see Overview of why this blog on Day 1 if your first time visit)
Day 5, July 6, 2014
We learn about our future by looking into our  past.  I know someone said that first but I have no clue who. Maybe it was someone really profound like Thoreau or someone with a lot of good quotes like Mark Twain  but that  is one idea that surfaces when  you look at a war memorial.
Day 5, Visit a War Memorial
I never took the time to stop and read many of the war memorials that are so  often  scattered around parks or cities.   One of my empty nest journey guides pointed out that right in front of me, on my favorite bike path, were  three War Memorials the: Vietnam, Korean  and WWII. I explored  the last one today.

The Little Golden Books mind us to always “give thanks” ,and the acquisition of basic needs such as  food and shelter are essential before you can even think about  Maslow’s pinnacle of self improvement. If you’re hungry, you are only going to think about food and nothing else.  Therefore it is good  to give thanks for those who have sacrificed much so we can enjoy all that we have in our country and one small way to do that might be to take the time to look at the memorial(s). 
Reflection  WWII Memorial
Although reading a memorial can evoke sadness, it at the same time can be uplifting and inspiring. It’s like riding a teeter tauter when one reads about the events of a war.  During a war there seems to be many inspiring stories of how people “stepped up to the plate” to help others and at the same time  a“ war is a war” -it’s all about death.   This WW2  memorial breaths by telling  the  Pittsburgh connection to the war  which for me made it  impactful, alive and  so much more than just a bunch pretty stones. There was  a story about a surgeon and wife reunion, about two women who were the first to fly a military plane coast to coast, and how a local prototype Jeep was developed and that 2,675 of the them were made for the war.  
This is memorial is worth a visit. I hope I will remember to take a moment and not just pass bye the next war memorial that I see and take the time to give thanks and share the lessons of the past.
Spiritual reflection
From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. Psalm 130:2-3. I am counting on the Lord; yes I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. Psalm130-5.
“I cry for help, but no one hears me. I protest but there is no Justice.”(Job 19:7). “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God (Job 19:25-26)
In war and in extreme hardship which are our “depths of despair”. Its  at these times we often do pray and we are called to have faith that God is in control. In these really dark times, there is comfort that God is with us and we realize that we can not bear it without him.
The hard part to understand is when our prayers do not seem to be answered or there seems to be extreme injustice like in a war.  I heard a sermon today, that suggested in those times God invites us to be with him . Also like Job, in the mist of extreme pain and suffering  and like Jesus, before the cross, both  focused on what they knew about God and not on “the why is this happening.” Often out of something bad comes something better.
Other Sources
Southwestern PA WW2 Memorial at http://www.swpawwii.org/