[The Rev. Bob Blessing’s] most recent tour of duty in Iraq included a considerable amount of both explosions and shootings, prompting a serious “reflective mode” as he observes the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. “I’m really dealing with life and resurrection. Remembering all the lives and how they served, to me, is crucial,” he said during a May 25 telephone interview.
Like his former battalion commander who died when his vehicle hit a land mine. … And the Iraqi translator. “Her name was Sarah, like my daughter. She was killed when a bomb went through her face, literally, and blew her apart. She kept our guys alive and gave the ultimate sacrifice, trying to keep peace for her people.”
Blessing, rector of St. Andrew’s Church in La Mesa, California, in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, said that he’ll pause this Memorial Day to remember not only the dead but also the living, and their huge sacrifices.
Let us pause as well and remember and pray and work as we can and even more diligently to extend God’s Peace, God’s Reign to all People.
Read the interview: Episcopal News Service – NEWS.
The Los Angeles Times maintains an online Memorial for those Californians who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Times editors encourage readers to leave memories; here is one left for Mark:
Mark- I knew you through your mom’s lovely and prideful chats about you and your siblings. I loved your mom and didn’t even know her that well. She helped me with my hearing aides. When she spoke of you and your amazing accomplishments, her face lit up the room. I can’t express how much you and your story has affected my life. A young, inspirational, wise beyond his years man, who’s life was cut way too short trying to make a positive impact on a broken country. Upon discovering of your passing, your mom and I shared a private moment in her office and both cried. Not so much for the way you passed but for the life you wouldn’t be able to complete. — Valerie (2010)