Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Last week a man killed 12 people and wounded 58 more in a massacre at a theater in Aurora, CO.
The killer’s actions represent the worst of the human condition. The sorrow and pain he inflicted on the victims and their families and friends is immeasurable. The wounded survivors will bear lifelong scars. The scars of the families and friends of those who died will also last a lifetime.
But during the shooting when the face of evil was revealed, the best of humanity shown through.
Of the 12 who died, five of the men, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, John Larimer, Alex Teves, and Jesse Childress lost their lives while protecting women they were with, 4 were girlfriends, one a friend.
Their sacrifices were not in vain. All five women they were protecting survived.
In the face of evil, five men gave their lives for others and showed what true heroism is.
Last Friday, my wife went to Toys R Us in Lone Tree, Colorado (I guess the store is technically in Englewood) to buy a bike for our daughter. She made the purchase then waited at the customer service desk for someone to get the box from the stock room. It turned out that the manager, Greg, was the person who brought it to the front. He then offered to carry the box out to the car for her. The manager personally helping a customer carry out a large box? That doesn’t happen very often. But wait, it gets better.
While walking out to the car, Greg asked my wife if the bike was a Christmas present. Honeybun explained that it is actually a present for our daughter’s birthday coming up on the 15th, and then mentioned that we won’t be able to put it together that day because we are moving and will assemble it when we get to New Mexico after Christmas.
At that point, Greg told her that it just isn’t fair for our daughter not to be able to ride her bike on her birthday. He then told my wife to bring Bailey by the store today. They loaned her a demo for a week, decorated it with pink ribbons, and wished her a happy birthday.
Wow. I mean, WOW. Honeybun was brought to tears of gratitude that the manager would be so concerned about our daughter being able to enjoy her present that he is doing something extraordinary to make it happen.
Honeybun told her friend about the episode. Our friend then said she knew exactly who that manager is. It turns out our friend went to that same store to buy a present. The store was out of stock for that item, so Greg personally drove to another Toys R Us location, brought it back to his store, and called our friend when he had it ready to pick up.
If you are near Park Meadows mall and need a toy, go to the Toys R Us. If there is a problem, Greg will take care of you. It’s like he is Santa Claus for parents.
Thank you Greg.
Today is the 231st birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Semper Fi!
Mary Katherine Ham has posted a series of inspiring USMC pictures.
â€œSome people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.â€? – Ronald Reagan
April 5 is the birthday of Booker T Washington.
If you’ve never read his autobiography Up From Slavery, you should start today.
Twenty two years ago today a muslim terrorist drove a truck full of explosives into the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers died.
Here is an excerpt from President Reagan’s televised address responding to the bombing:
May I share something with you I think you’d like to know? It’s something that happened to the Commandant of our Marine Corps, General Paul Kelley, while he was visiting our critically injured Marines in an Air Force hospital. It says more than any of us could ever hope to say about the gallantry and heroism of these young men, young men who serve so willingly so that others might have a chance at peace and freedom in their own lives and in the life of their country.
I’ll let General Kelley’s words describe the incident. He spoke of a “young Marine with more tubes going in and out of his body than I have ever seen in one body.”
“He couldn’t see very well. He reached up and grabbed my four stars, just to make sure I was who I said I was. He held my hand with a firm grip. He was making signals, and we realized he wanted to tell me something. We put a pad of paper in his hand – and he wrote ‘Semper Fi.’ ”
Well, if you’ve been a Marine or if, like myself, you’re an admirer of the Marines, you know those words are a battle cry, a greeting, and a legend in the Marine Corps. They’re Marine shorthand for the motto of the Corps – “Semper Fidelis” – “always faithful.”
General Kelley has a reputation for being a very sophisticated general and a very tough Marine. But he cried when he saw those words, and who can blame him? That Marine and all those others like him living and dead, have been faithful to their ideals. They’ve given willingly of them selves so that a nearly defenseless people in a region of great strategic importance to the free world will have a chance someday to live lives free of murder and mayhem and terrorism. I think that young Marine and all of his comrades have given every one of us something to live up to.
They were not afraid to stand up for their country or, no matter how difficult and slow the journey might be, to give to others that last, best hope of a better future. We cannot and will not dishonor them now and the sacrifices they’ve made by failing to remain as faithful to the cause of freedom and the pursuit of peace as they have been.
I will not ask you to pray for the dead, because they’re safe in God’s loving arms and beyond need of our prayers. I would like to ask you all – wherever you may be in this blessed land – to pray for these wounded young men and to pray for the bereaved families of those who gave their lives for our freedom.
God bless you, and God bless America.”
Michael Yon is a freelance reporter working on the frontlines in Iraq. Go read his latest story about LTC Kurilla.
Donate to his blog if you can.
Matt Hicketheir is a young Marine completing his training before shipping to Iraq for a year. His father and mother took him to The Fort, a very expensive restaurant in Morrison, CO, this past Tuesday to celebrate before their only son left. President Clinton ate at this same restaurant when he visited Denver a few years ago.
The entire family dressed up. Matt wore his dress blues and his mother and sister wore their best dresses. They spared no expense in their dinner on this special occaision even though it was a hit on the pocket book. They drank champagne and ordered exotic dishes like rattlesnake, quail eggs and buffalo tongue to enjoy the time they had with their son and brother. This occaision was a special one that deserved some indulgence.
When they were finished, the restaurant told them another customer had given the manager his credit card and told him to keep the Hicketheir’s tab open. “Anything they order is on me,” he told the manager before he left. The man only insisted on one condition, that he remain anonymous. The Fort has kept the man’s confidence admitting only that he’s a businessman from Texas who was in town for a few days. He had been sitting at a nearby table and apparently was able to gather why the family was there.
This man’s kindness was great example of someone demonstrating love their country and the troops who fight for freedom. His avoidance of attention for his actions show what a truly kind heart this man has.
A number of people beat me to this story including:
Major Mark Bieger comforts a wounded girl while taking her to a military hospital. The child didn’t make it.
The writer who took this picture has his own blog where he relates the story.
So-called martyr’s think they are heroes for blowing up the own countrymen. This photo show not only why we need to stay and fight, but also why we will win. The only way we will lose is if the U.S. loses heart and pulls out. Then all the sacrifices will be in vain.
The terrorists’ desperation in targeting children shows we are winning. Their own countrymen will not stand for this continued slaughter.