I sang at a funeral today. Nobody I knew, just something I do every now and then if I’m requested or if the other singer isn’t available.
The man the service was for was a life time military man. He served in Vietnam and was highly decorated. He knew what it meant to serve his God, family and country honorably. When they began to wheel the casket out two older men in the congregation popped up and saluted while this gentleman made his last trip down our church’s aisle. I can go the entire service dry eyed, sing heart wrenching songs with out a crack in my voice, but when something like that happens my eyes well up and threaten to brim over.
In the last few weeks of his life he spoke with our minister about how he wanted his service to be preformed and about his life in the military. He explained what it means to be a veteran. He said that when you make a commitment to your country you are signing your name to a blank check with the knowledge that you will make good on the payment whatever the cost. He said you never default on that check and always pay your debts. When you make a commitment to God or family or country the right and honorable thing to do is keep your commitment. This man, like so many others, served their country honorably and never ever defaulted on their debt.
What a poignant sentiment to hear when our country is on the brink of defaulting on it’s debts. Good, honest people are serving our country, making sacrifices and are now going without because our leaders can’t quit their squabbling. While our economy is at a precipice and people are going to work without pay, our “leaders” continue to bicker.
Washington, please, do the right thing. For the sake of every American who is serving their country. For the sake of my friend’s husband who just finished basic training for the Army reserve only to come home and find out he won’t get the pay he was counting on. For the sake of the families who are mourning their loved ones and a thought they weren’t going to get their benefits. For the sake of this honorable man who served his country and never dreamed of defaulting on his debts.
For goodness sakes, if you’re not sure what it means to make a commitment and live up to it just look to the people who are suffering from your folly.