A Tribute to an Unknown Soldier

Veterans Day reflections on the price of freedom

Hey soldier,
even though I never knew you,
I want to thank you.

You loved our country just like I.
You bled red, white and blue.
You didn’t run when Uncle Sam said
“Young man, I need you!”

The things you fought for
are the possessions I cherish.
They are privileges
I could never afford on my own.
Freedom from fear.
Freedom from want.
Freedom of speech
and freedom to worship God.
A treasure chest of priceless gifts.
That’s what you bequeathed to me.

Because of you (and others like you),
I am wealthier than I can fully comprehend.
Still, in the end, in the pursuit of justice
(in which you gave your life),
it doesn’t seem fair at all.

Why should you be called to give up
some of those freedoms
in order to make all of them possible
for those who are sometimes hesitant
to show their gratitude?

Hey soldier,
even though I never knew you,
I want to thank you.

I cried the day I heard you died.
As your flag-covered casket
was carried in slow-motion precision
to a waiting hearse,
my heavy heart grieved
with sighs too deep for words.

Hey soldier,
even though I never knew you,
God knew you intimately.
What is more He loved you.
He gave His Son to die for you.
And I’m praying that this loving God
will overwhelm your loved ones
with His comfort and compassion
as He under girds them
with His grace and peace.
After all, thanks to you I have
the freedom to publicly declare
my dependence on Him.

Hey soldier,
I’m grieving you’re gone,
but I’m grateful for what you gave.
And even though I never knew you,
I just wanted to say thanks.