Friday, May 27, 2011

Remembering the Nameless

I know it sounds like I spend all of my time in cemeteries.  I really don’t.  It’s just that yesterday, I had to wait a couple of hours for my new old car to get fixed.  Right next door to the repair shop, guess what was there.  Yup.

This cemetery is an anomaly.  I live in a pretty rundown neighborhood.  But this military cemetery is nestled right in the middle of city dilapidation.  And it’s very charming, very green, and very well kept.

Just a few feet through the front gate, I see the stones—Lt. Gaddy, Col. Lewis, PFC Staunton.  All just like the others.  Clean, petite marble with the familiar cross at the top.  But then I saw a random marker with the inscription, “Unknown Soldier.”  My heart broke.  How can anyone be an unknown soldier?  I thought soldiers wore dog tags?  Maybe not during the Civil War, but all of these dead soldiers fought in World War II and the Korean War.  I was saddened that somehow, this one soldier was found and no one knew his name or his background.

Hanging my head in prayer as I started to walk again, I prayed to God, thanking Him for all that this man did for his country. 

I was not prepared for what I saw next. 

As I lifted my head, I saw them.  Rows upon rows of markers just like the one that affected me so deeply--to an "unknown soldier."  HUNDREDS of them!

“How can this be, Lord?” I cried.  “And what about their families?  Surely they had families that worried about them?”

How appropriate that the Lord would escort me through this experience “by chance.”  Just days before Memorial Day.

So let this post be a dedication to all of our soldiers who fought and died for our behalf, and especially those whose names are only known to our loving Father.

“Gracious Father, protect all of our brave men and women who are deployed or are about to be.  Only You can protect them when modern technology, training, and armor cannot.  Bring them home safely to their families, and bring them home whole—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.”


  1. Thank you for this prayer! I follow your wife's blog (and sometimes yours as well!) and my husband is currently nearing the end of his first deployment. I can't wait for him to return home and read your blog! :)


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