Letter to the Editor: Gratitude instead of grief
Some time ago we saw on the news, a man raise a picture of his son who had been killed in action in the war at Bagdad. He said, "Here Mr. President, this is a picture of my son who you took from me, I hope you are satisfied."
While our hearts go out to those who have lost family members to un-timely death, we try to understand. Many of us who have suffered these things know that there is a feeling that can't be described with words. A feeling that runs through our hearts and souls as we stand beside those open graves. Often we think of a letter which was written by President Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Lydia Bixby during the American Civil War.
"I have been shown in the files of the War Department, a statement of the Adjustant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which attempt to beguile you from your grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may usage the anguish of your breavement, and leave you only with the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom"
It was signed sincerely and respectfully yours,
Our hope and prayer is that those who have suffered the loss of sons, brothers, husbands or fathers may receive some consolation from the words of the one who made the greatest sacrifice of all, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"(John 15:13). We measure our life, not by how long we live but how well we live.
Thornton Wilder once wrote, "The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude."