Condolences and appreciation for a fallen hero
|Recently a friend of mine was asked to write a letter of condolence to the mother of a fallen soldier. Like many people, she was at a loss for words. Just what do you say to a complete stranger who has lost someone in the service of their country? You feel terrible, of course, but how do you tell someone you've never met that you're sorry about the death of their son? Somehow, she told me, she felt that "I'm sorry for your loss" just wasn't enough.
So she turned to me, asking me to pen something for her. After sitting at my desk and pondering, I finally came up with the things I wish I could say to every parent of a fallen hero, for, indeed, every life lost in any war or battle, is a hero.
The following paragraphs are words that poured from my heart: things I've wanted to say ever since we started shipping young people overseas. I, too, served in the military, but it was during a more peaceful time. I can only honor and respect the people who have and are volunteering at a time like the present.
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Words like "we're sorry for your loss" seem inadequate for the death of a loved one, whether by accident, natural causes, or war. There is no way to prepare for something like that, and no one is ever ready for it to happen to them.
A soldier's death is never easy on anyone. Young men should be allowed to grow into old men. They should live full lives, marry their sweethearts, out-live their parents. But dangers are a part of our world, and a soldier is someone who has volunteered to protect us, our way of life. To fight for the underdog in some cases.
A soldier who has made the ultimate sacrifice deserves more than "sorry for your loss", but they are now beyond the realm that we mere mortals inhabit and think we control. We search for poetic words only to discover that there is no poetry in war, no balm for death. Nothing eases pain but time, and only after great lengths of time have passed do we start to feel a little more normal again, but never the same.
What we can do is thank the parents of this soldier for raising such a person. A person who willingly stepped up to the line to keep others from having to face world dangers. A soldier who didn't want to die, but was willing to, for what he believed was right. For the loss of such a person, we are all sorry.