On a trip to Salt Fork State Park this weekend, I had the chance to explore an historic building. The Kennedy Stone House was built in 1840 from native sandstone quarried on the property. The house cost $600. Benjamin Kennedy, 23 years old, purchased the 80 acre tract of land on Sugar Creek, in southern Ohio.
The House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and has been restored. A special addition to the home is a veteran’s memorial in the courtyard honoring all of our soldiers from the past to the present.
The marker states,” In honor of all who have served as members of the military service of the United States of America . . . May their heritage be peace.”
Although times and house prices have changed, we still want the same thing. Peace. God bless our brave men and women and bring them home to their families.
The Tree Swallows glide and swoop across the path. A dozen Red-winged Blackbirds startle and fly up as a group and settle in a different spot in the meadow perching on cattails. The high twitter of the Swallows intertwines with the loud reee of the Blackbirds. The frogs offer the bass part to this symphony sounding like the plucking of thick rubber bands stretched across a shoebox. The aroma of clover comes in waves as the wind ebbs and flows. Purple coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans dot the landscape. Frohring Meadows is part of the Geauga Park District. The abandoned farm fields have been reseeded with native plants to create a tall grass prairie, a habitat that might have been found in parts of Ohio when the settlers roamed the territory. On this fourth of July, I think of our heritage. I think of all those who came before me, those devoted to God and country. I think of the sacrifices, both past and present, made by men and woman not afraid to give their lives for what they believe. Because of them, I can walk in a peaceful meadow listening to bird songs. God bless our troops and God bless America.
It is so hard to say good bye. I watched as a ten month old baby kept reaching out his arms to be held by his soldier father. As that father gave his child back to his wife, the little one raised his arms and reached out for his father again and again. That soldier closed his eyes and just hugged his small son.
On a long narrow table there were rows and rows of white pillow cases graced with a close up picture of each soldier with the stars and stripes behind them. The Family Support Group had the pillow cases made for the families. I overheard a very young looking soldier ask if his pillow case could be shipped to his parents’ home because they were unable to come to the send off. I asked him, “Do you have any family here today?” He replied that no one was able to come. I asked if I could give him a hug. He said yes. As I hugged him I said, “This hug is from your Mom.”
Today, I was invited to attend the send off of 180 soldiers from the 1192nd Engineer Co. This is my son’s old unit. (My son is not being deployed.) I watched as anxious family members filed in to honor their citizen soldiers and pray for their safe return. While a field of flags waved in the audience, General Wayt told the soldiers to turn around and face their families. The General told the families, “These are your heroes.” He told the audience how Time magazine called them “Persons” of the year. The General asked for a round of applause for what these men and woman were getting ready to do. He thanked the families for their unwavering support and the burden they would bear. Thank you to all of our soldiers and their families.
The motto of the 1192nd is Commence A Finir–from start to finish. We will continue to hold our heroes in prayer–from start to finish– for the year they will be gone. Some heroes were capes, our heroes wear combat boots.