I am a proud “military brat”! My father honorably served our country through three wars. My childhood memories are all sprinkled with military stories. We lived on naval bases until I was in the 9th grade. And I have great memories of it all.
Recently there has been quite a bit of national conversation about our new military focus in Iraq and the kinds of activities our servicemen and women are involved in Afghanistan. Regardless of your perspective on both wars, it seems very appropriate to take a minute and deeply appreciate the sacrifices these men and women and their families are making on behalf of the rest of us.
Towards that end, I thought I might share a story that made its way around the internet recently. It is another great story of American heroes who preformed without prompting on 9/11.
Apparently right after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, attention was drawn to a nearby daycare center. This particular center served many toddlers, young children and a large number of infants who were in heavy cribs. The center’s supervisor knew all those children needed to be evacuated immediately, but there was no time to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the director was trying to do, he ran back into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, “Well, he isn’t going to help,” so she started to organize her small staff with an action plan.
About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib and started gathering up the toddlers. Along with the center’s staff, they pushed, carried and cajoled the children down towards a nearby park. And then the Marines formed a circle with all those heavy cribs. It kind a looked like a wagon train in defensive mode. They put the toddlers in the center of the circle and made a perimeter of caring young Marines. As the hours went by, those young guys (many of them teenagers themselves) stayed at their “post” playing and caring for those children until their parents could pick them up.
I know there are countless stories of heroic efforts that were extended on that fateful day. But I am mindful of Ronald Reagan’s great compliment. He once said, “Most of us wonder if our lives made any difference. Marines don’t have that problem.”
This week, I am particularly drawn to acknowledge the commitment and resourcefulness of our men and women in uniform. This story is emblematic of the kind of behavior that is duplicated every day all around the world.
So, if you see someone in uniform this week, grab their hand and thank them for standing THE WATCH for us. Remember, we bask in our liberties (including the freedom to worship as we please) because they care enough to serve.
My “Musing” friends,
Apparently the wonderful story I told this week about the Marines helping out a preschool/daycare center wasn’t entirely accurate. I did not check it out on www.snopes.com, but a friend did and passed along the information. While any number of folks served selflessly that fateful 9/11, it seems that the Marines/Pentagon/Preschool story can not be substantiated.
I am sorry that I passed along a great story that wasn’t verified. In the future, I promise to do a better job of substantiating stories like this one.
But in the meantime, please know that the sentiment is not diluted in any way. The Marines (and all the other branches of military service) do an excellent job of assisting others. They reach out into communities all over the world. Their official web site contains a number of community service stories. The story of John Besh, a chef in New Orleans will encourage you. Click here for a verified story of a Marine reaching out to a community in need.
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel