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June 28, 2005 - Names in Granite by Cissy Lowe Dickson

 

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"None of us who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free." ~ Pearl S. Buck



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I love stories of patriotism and this one is so beautifully written - its message really touched my heart. As we in America prepare for our Independence Day celebrations, I hope we all reflect on the many who sacrificed so that we can enjoy this day and our freedom. Special thanks to Cissy for this moving story!



"Names in Granite"
by Cissy Lowe Dickson

Several years ago, on a visit to Washington, D.C., I visited the Vietnam War memorial. I knew a young man who died during the war and whose name appeared on the Memorial. I made a point of finding his name on the Wall; it was a moving experience for me. After I located his listing, I stood at the Memorial, reflecting on his life, his surviving child and wife, and thought about what this Memorial must mean to them.

This is a Memorial that was born in controversy. One veteran called it, "the black gash of shame." Another veteran thought the Memorial did little to lift the spirits of the men who fought in the Vietnam War. In fact, a second monument was built on the site to pacify those who expressed initial dissatisfaction. As years have passed, however, and millions have visited the Memorial, it has come to be a place of healing and peace.

People may wonder about its success as a tribute to the men and women who fought and died in Vietnam. But I don't. As a TCF chaper leader and editor of our chapter newsletter, I have come to understand the meaning of the Vietnam Memorial and its message to all of us.

We have a column in our newsletter titled, "That Their Light May Always Shine....Our Children Loved and Remember." This column lists the day a child died, his/her name, and the child's parents. We call these "remembrance dates" rather than anniversary dates, thereby avoiding a word that connotes celebration and jubilation.

Occasionally and accidentally, I have omitted a child's name. Invariably, when this happens, I receive a phone call from a very distraught parent who wants to know why their child's name did not appear in the newsletter.

In fact, recently, a mother called to inform me that I had omitted her son's name. This child died five years ago. I asked why this error caused so much pain. She said, "When his name appears in the newsletter each year, it is the only time I ever see it in print. It is a sign to me that he lived and to anyone else that reads the newsletter. Maybe everyone else has forgotten that he lived, but I remember and the newsletter reminds others. Then I know I am his mother."

I understood, as never before, the importance of the written word, or as in this case, the written name. Any person who questions the impact of a black granite wall listing 58,132 names have never experienced the death of a child.



Cissy Lowe Dickson copyright 2001


Cissy can be reach in care of 2TheHeart. Email us about her story! editor@2theheart.com



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The Letter Box:


Dear Mike,
What a wonderful story "Double Miracles" is! Your stories always lift, and I especially liked this one. What a greast witness to God's love for us. Thank you, Marva



Dear Mike Segal,
I was so touched by your story and wanted to personally write and thank you for sharing it. I visited your web site and know that God intended for you to survive and continue to inspire others after all you've experienced. Your faith is amazing! Thank you, sincerely, Lily Staunton



Hi Susan,

We loved your website! If you find this appropriate for your readership, please feel free to post our call for submissions for the upcoming book, "Letters to My Teacher" from Adams Media. This is an opportunity for national writing exposure, and we're able to offer a small token payment for published work.

Many Thanks! Rick Sutherland/Barb Karg editiors: Letters to My Teacher

Letters To My Teacher
A Call for Submissions

Adams Media, Inc. in Avon, Massachusetts, is compiling an anthology of stories, written as letters, for a new book tentatively titled Letters to My Teacher: 50 Inspirational Stories About Lessons Learned, to be published in late 2005. The book will contain 50 true stories-written by people of all ages--that celebrate the valuable lessons learned from teachers in our lives. This is a unique opportunity to acknowledge the special teacher in your life, to share your experience with an appreciative audience, and to gain national writing exposure with a well respected publisher.

For details, please visit us at
http://home.earthlink.net/~lettersubmissions/index.html


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www.2TheHeart.com
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    Making a difference, one story at a time!