I should have written this letter weeks ago, but I do not know how to properly convey my thanks to the American Legion Post 135, and this year has been quite an emotional time for my family and me.
We appreciate not only the wonderful participation in the worship service at West Goodland United Methodist Church but also for the lovely, respectful service held in town on Memorial Day. The Color Guard and each veteran's role was carried out with dignity and obvious love of country.
My daughter and I were deeply moved when my husband's name was called out this year, along with others who gave so much of their lives in the pursuit of freedom and protecting human life. Jimmy preached at the Memorial Service several times through the years and it was always very special to him. I want you to know how much the service meant to us. Part of our tears were shed for our sadness in missing Jimmy. Part of our tears were from the comfort of seeing so many people express thanks, respect and patriotism.
I remember the times when I missed Jim as he was away in the Marines, when his chair at the supper table was empty, and now I miss my son Benjamin as he is serving in the Navy. I am very aware of the struggles military families are going through. It is right that we have these times set aside to ponder the cost of freedom and to express our gratitude. It is my heartfelt hope that expressions of patriotism, demonstrations of gratitude and respect will not fade away. I hope that the children of America will see in all of us the importance of standing together to watch our flag flying free, to listen to students playing our National Anthem, knowing some of them may be our future soldiers. May they learn from us to give thanks to God for the privilege of freedom. May we leave them with an appreciation of the value of every act of service to our country.
Pastor Pamela Barnett, West Goodland United Methodist Church, Goodland Twp.
July 08, 2009