Thursday, October 21, 2004

Contract complete

Tonight I went for the second time to watch and discuss an R.C. Sproul video series on God's Holiness. That's not what I'm going to talk about in this post--maybe later. I only happen to mention it because I was on the way home when I decided to take the long rout. I was actually planning on hitting the Barkley Starbucks before they closed because the Sehome one was really crowded. I've never taken anything but the direct rout home from Western so this was really random...and I'm glad I ended up doing so.

I had just turned onto Lakeway Dr. at about 9:10 p.m. when I noticed a line of people gathered on the side of the road with flags and candles. I didn't know what it was all about but I made a split-second decision to turn off into a parking lot and see what was up. I did so and approached one flag-bearer with my question. She said it was because the hearse of the local Bellingham soldier, killed in Iraq, was going to be going by soon. I was thrilled--a little disappointed that my study time was going to disappear, but thrilled none the less. Leaving was not an option so I made a phone call home from the Mexican restaurant on the block to let them know what I was doing. They already knew about it. I discovered upon farther questioning that it had been advertised on the radio all day. Sigh...

Well, I stood there and chatted for a little bit. Someone loaned me a candle which had a random tendency to go out at weird times. I found myself itching about the fact I hadn't known ahead of time and not being able to at least bring a flag. I wanted to get a picture, write about it, save the moment for all it was worth. All I could think about was the fact that in a few minutes the remains of a brave young man would go by and the only way I could honor him was to just stand there respectfully. I had to stifle the urge to salute when the hearse finally did travel slowly by on its way to the cemetery.

As it passed by, I looked down...only to see that my candle had blown out yet again.

My friend who hosts the Bible study I was heading home from, is also a Journalism major. Most ironically, she had just finished doing a front page story on this soldier--yes, she even ended up interviewing his mother who works at Western. I'm glad I got the chance to be there when he came home for the last time. From all that I hear, he had only been in Iraq for less then two months and would have completed his three-year contract at the end of his tour in Iraq, which was going to be short.

It's late, though... I'm really tired and I don't think I can stay awake to finish this post with any kind of special dignified ending, so I'm no going to try...

<< Home 1 Comments:
Blogger Kristi said...

wow...what a memorable night!..tho', "memorable" is a rather overused word...would "poignant" describe the night correctly?
It sure would have been something to have been there, that's for sure.

12:29 AM, October 22, 2004  

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