Tonight I was watching a moving tribute to America's veterans, and my daughter walked in and started watching with me. She asked me, "What are those crosses for? They're very beautiful!" (Yes, she does talk like this, at five years old. "Very beautiful" is one of her favorite things to say.)
I took a while answering. I don't like her to see me cry. Finally I just dove in. "Those crosses are markers where they bury the bodies of soldiers. The soldiers had to go fight and stop people who want to hurt America. Those people hate that we can chose to do what we believe is right, and they want to make us worship their God, or kill us if they can. The soldier's job is to stop them, and they are fighting, and getting hurt, and sometimes they get killed. When they are killed, their bodies are sent back in a coffin with a flag on it, and they take it to this graveyard. They fold the flag up and give it to the soldier's family, and then they put the soldier's body in the ground."
She sat in silence as pictures flashed across the screen. A young boy not much older than she was, wearing a suit, receives a folded flag from white gloved hands. A young woman lays her head on her husband's coffin. A weeping couple at their daughter's funeral.
"Mommy, why are they crying?"
I said, "Honey, they lost someone they love, because that person was a soldier who was killed. It makes me cry too."
She looked at me, "If it makes you cry, don't watch it!"
"The Bible says there is a time to laugh, and a time to cry. And it also says we should weep with those who are crying. Sometimes it's good to know something and be sad. Then we can pray for someone or try to help them."
She watched the rest of it with me. It wasn't a conversation with earth-shattering revelation. In the interest of keeping it G-rated, I didn't give much more information, but information that was important. I think she understood enough though. While I was tucking her in bed she said, "Mommy? Can we pray now for the soldiers?"
Yes! Let's pray for them, past, present, and future! I don't have the words to express my gratitude to them for their gift of love and sacrifice. I thank God every day that each generation of Americans has seen heroes like this, giving freedom to the next generation. God bless them, protect them, and give them victory today!