November 11th is Veterans Day and Cardinal students, staff and community are preparing for the big assembly we have every year. The teachers are all developing lessons, activities, and sharing information about what Veterans Day really means. Students are feverishly working on the annual coloring and writing contests hosted by the Student Council. The entire district is discussing the importance of freedom and sharing why they are so thankful for veterans. It is a time of great pride and patriotism as we think of ways to show the love and respect we have for the veterans in our community and in our lives.
As a military wife, I know all too well the sacrifice that families and soldiers make to ensure we can be free to hold ceremonies like this one. However, this year the Cardinal community has a new level of understanding of the word sacrifice. This year we will be honoring all our veterans, and paying a special tribute to a fallen soldier and Cardinal graduate, who was killed in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. Our hearts are heavy with the loss, but our souls are thankful for the protection these brave men and women offer. So, as we prepare for this day we ask that you take a moment to thank a veteran, and lift up a word of prayer to honor their service so that Americans may live in peace. If you cannot make it to the Cardinal Community School District's ceremony on November 11th at 1:30-2:30 at least take the time to read and share the story of Lance Corporal Adam Wolff below.
There are days when words are not enough. Even the most reverent and noble of our language falls short of the emotions tied to them. Words often seem pointless in the middle of heartache and tragedy. The only words that seem to matter are those we can feel, but cannot fully explain. This week our community has learned that the words we lack in times of great sorrow are lived instead of spoken; through acts of faith, hope and love.
FAITH: It is easy in a world of pain, war, and chaos to lose faith in humanity. Yet, today, as I passed thousands of flags honoring the ultimate sacrifice of a brave marine, beloved son, caring brother, trusted friend, and a Cardinal graduate, my faith was restored. Lance Corporal Adam Wolff was laid to rest after making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. There is nothing we can say to express how humbled, honored, and saddened we are for the loss his family has endured.
However, the acts of faith this community pledged were evident. The streets were lined with flags, the Patriot Guard Riders escorted him "home," and local fire departments, schools, churches, and community members stood together to show their respect for this fallen marine and his family. The despondency we feel as a community, who were reminded that freedom is not free, is immeasurable.
Yet, there is faith lurking behind each tear, for we are reminded that it is through the love of Jesus we are redeemed. We know that this soldier is free from the burden of earth's toils, and is now a soldier in Christ. It is only through our faith that we can truly understand and honor the sacrifice of a life lost for a cause greater than ourselves. Your community salutes you, Lance Corporal Adam Wolff, as the Lord welcomes you home. Your sacrifice has reminded all of us that we must have faith in each other, and faith that we can make this world a better place to live together. 1 Corinthians 16:13 we will "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."
HOPE: How do you tell a mom her son will not be coming home. How do share with a family that there will be one loved one missing at the next holiday gathering. How do you battle back from the heartache that fills your soul with a darkness no one can comprehend unless they have "been there?" Words are not always the answer, but finding hope in the times of tribulation can solve the greatest mysteries of this life. Sometimes it is less about offering words that fall short and more about the way we stand together to support our "brothers and sisters." You do not have to know the family to pray or to offer support in other ways. You can spread the hope of the Lord's promise with acts of kindness and love. A meal, a donation or a prayer can offer greater hope than you may realize. As believers we are to leave behind a world filled with more light than darkness. We do this through our never ending fight to offer hope to those who need it. Romans 5:2-5 : "Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Please share this blog, and donate in honor of the words this community has spoken through their acts of faith, hope and love.
Above all else remember 1 Corinthians 13:13:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."