Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Good Friend and Member of my Congregation

I remember clearly sitting in a pew Sunday morning and hearing the preacher announce the horrifying news… Frank Walkup IV was killed in Iraq.  This was Father’s Day 2007.  My mind reeled as I tried to process the news.  My friend - No, that’s not right - my good friend would not be coming home.  A small child would forever know her father as a photograph, and a young bride would only have the memories of her husband’s strong arms around her.

Frank was one of the very first people I taught karate to.   I remember him trying so very hard in class, wanting to get every move perfect.  His grin when he would nail a technique would light up the dojo.  When I close my eyes and think of Frank, I chose to remember this and not the handfuls of Middle Tennessee dirt thudding against the top of a casket and certainly not the protesters that felt his funeral a place to make their opinions on politics known.  You see, Frank Walkup was a person who had hopes, dreams, goals, and a life to live.  If we, the living, do not honor his sacrifice then he is wasted – and all human life is too precious to be wasted.

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