Categorized | Local Perspectives

The Purple Heart

On 4-14-12 I was privy to attend the Annual State Dinner of the Purple Heart. Not only were there representatives of all 24 Local Chapters and National officers but Gold Star families who had one of their loved ones killed in the quest of freedom this past year.

Something most profound which left tears in many people’s eyes was the sight of an empty table near the front at which no one sat. The table set for one was small and symbolized the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors. The tablecloth was white – symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades who keep faith waiting for their return.

The red ribbon, tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to this tragedy and with unyielding determination demand a proper accounting of our missing.

A slice of lemon on the plate to remind us of their bitter fate. There is salt upon the plate – symbolic of the families tears as they wait. The glass is inverted – they cannot toast with us tonight. The chair is empty – they are not here.

That night we took tome to recall the plight of our POW’s, MIA’s and KIA’s – they were our comrades in arms – we depended on them for aid and support. Surely they would not have forsaken us.

Some things happen in life and leave an impression on us which we will never forget. This was one of them for me and I’m sure for most in attendance.

Why is that when our country is in dire stress, e.g. wars, riots, there are people who rise above it and show determination because of what was done for them. It has happened all too often that a son or daughter will leave home, join the service and help preserve peace which this country promises.

The pride I saw in these 7 families was well deserved. They may not have their sons with them any longer but they do have the results of their actions.

We are a free nation, we wish to continue to be free. The blood spilled on foreign soil shows the love that these warriors had for their country. Upon enlisting in a service they are dedicating their future to the country that gave them their freedoms.

May God bless those who gave their all and may God bless this country so that we continue to show its citizens that we Americans are faithful to our predecessors for all they have done. This great Constitution of ours has given us 236 years of a wonderful and inspiring history. Let us not throw it away by changing something which already works.

Just think! If it were not for our military we would today not have our present lifestyle and neither would the countries we fought for. The one thing people fail to realize is – we are the result of our actions and our children are a product of their decisions.

Barbara Skokan
Perth Amboy

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