Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Monday, December 06, 2004

My Letter to an American Soldier

I wrote about this letter writing campaign last night. Here's my first go:

December 2004

Dear American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Air Corp Member,

’Thank you,’ is inadequate for what I owe all of you. In most cases now, you are serving with the full knowledge of the likelihood of being in harm's way. September 11, 2001 still seems unreal to me though I do know it happened. More importantly I know you are paying in the price in a real way, again I thank you. I wonder if you all know that the overwhelming majority of Americans DO support your efforts and are grateful? I want to tell you, they do and they are!

The world is becoming safer in the sense that I very much doubt there will be jets torpedoing buildings in the near future. For the most part, the planners of such attacks are dead or on the run. Running from YOU! Believe me, most of your fellow citizens know this, and appreciate your sacrifice.

It matters not the season of the year home is always missed. Now though with the holiday season here, I have no doubt that it must be felt a little more keenly than the everyday-to-day wistfulness. While I'm sure that it cannot compare with what your family and friends are experiencing, many of us are also more aware, thus more grateful at this time of year.

It kind of brings to mind Scrooge taking into his consciousness those of ignorance and want. I found the following poem; it reminds me of all of our troops and the message of the season. I hope you enjoy it!

Christmas Poem
by G.K. Chesterton

There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; in the place where she was homeless all men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, with shaking timber and shifting sand, grew a stronger thing to abide and stand than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes, and strangers under the sun, and they lay their heads in a foreign land whenever the day is done. Here we have battle and blazing eyes, and chance and honor and high surprise, but our homes are under miraculous skies Where the Yule tale was begun.

A child in a foul stable, where the beasts feed and foam; only where He was homeless Are you and I at home; we have hands that fashion and heads that know, But our hearts we lost---how long ago! In a place no chart nor ship can show under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wife's tale, And strange the plain things are, The earth is enough and the air is enough For our wonder and our war; But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings And our peace is put in impossible things Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening Home shall all men come, to an older place than Eden and a taller town than Rome. To the end of the way of the wandering star, to the things that cannot be and that are, to the place where God was homeless and all men are at home.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy New Year! I pray for your safe return.

Kathianne Wheaton, IL

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