How do you remember?

Did you do anything to remember it?

Visit someone in the hospital perhaps?

Make a phone call?

Send an email?

Bake a cake?

Write a letter to your Congressman?

Did you join with hundreds of others on a protest march?

Or did you sit down with the photos of your son, your husband, your daughter, your aunt and remember all the great times before their flag-draped coffin came home?

Eight years have passed. Thousands of flag-draped coffins have returned home. Thousands more grieve daily.

If you know the name of someone serving — tell us about them.

If you don’t, what will you do to change that?

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About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • http://koinepdx1.blogspot.com AF Roger

    “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.” Psalm 27:3. Had coffee with a firend. Discussed the remoteness of the war experience from most people here. Prayed.

  • Lillian

    I feel your pain and sorrow in losing your father. I know that the death of a loved one changes your life. I know, because my only daughter died in the Pentagon almost 10 years ago. My life has never been the same since then. 911 robbed Marjorie of the joy of being at her daughters’ graduations from grad schools, their weddings, and the birth of her grandson.
    She would have loved being a grandmother.
    Some bulbs she helped me plant in my yard are blooming. I can close my eyes and see her
    carefully placing those bulbs, filling the holes and smoothing the dirt. She was a loyal Pentagon worker in the office of the assistants to the Secretary of the Army. Every one in her office die that day. I am struggling with forgiveness. The young men that piloted the planes that day were brain-washed. They are not in heaven with my daughter. Does their mothers grieve for those young men? My grief has not lessened. I still would like to meet Ben Ladin face to face and ask him what he thinks he accomplished that terrible day. Would he ask me to forgive him for my daughter’s death? As a Christian, should I forgive him?

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Lillian: Because we have had long talks about all this, you know that I don’t believe in any easy answers. I know your grief has not lessened and these 10 years seem like a blink. So much pain. So much loss. So many joyful moments missed. I doubt that Bin Ladin would ask for forgiveness. And I honestly don’t know how you forgive someone like that. The fact that you struggle with it — that you even consider whether you should forgive him or not — is a testament to your faith and your desire to honor God. Hugs to my friend.

  • http://www.gregengland.com Greg England

    Karen: Don’t know anyone serving now, but I know plenty of men who have served recently. My brother was a Ranger for 29-1/2 years, reaching the rank of Sgt. Major, and serving in Viet Nam for two tours of duty, mostly in places our government said we had no military forces. Many years after that “police action,” I learned that he volunteered to stay for a second tour so that I would not have to go there. He and I were not the closest of siblings, but he is my hero.

    I read your book, Hero Mama, and laughed and wept with you.

  • Steve T

    Yep, I gave thanks. My special ops buddy’s kid came home without any holes in his body. We continue to pray about the ones through his soul.

  • Mary Bartram

    Our son is no longer serving in Iraq. He was in the army for 4 years. In Iraq as a medic for 13 months. He has always lived on edge. He seemed to imbrace the Army. I don’t think I have ever seen him as happy as the day he graduated from Basic. He was tan and he was fit. I was proud. After the 13 months in Iraq, our son came back. Or at least he said he was our son. But I only see fleeting moments of him. I am not sure what happened to him over there, but I don’t think he came back. I know that someplace in Iraq, he is still there. Or his soul is.
    He is recieving 100% diability for the VA for PTSD. This coupled with a aready exsisting problem with alcohol, has changed him into a unrecognizable person.
    I know that there are many walking around with physical wounds, but he has wounds are so deep, I don’t know if they will ever heal.
    I believe the thing he loved (the army) wounded him. The love that he had to serve his country detrayed him.
    I don’t think this war was like any other. These young men grew up in the time of 911. They saw buildings fall and people die. Many just wanted to do what they could to help America, but America shot them in the heart.
    PTSD is a life sentence for the attempt to do better.
    I am not bitter. I am proud of what he gave to his country, but I ask my self. Was it worth it?
    May people have lost their sons to the war. They came home in flag draped coffins. They are buried under headstones of honor. But don’t forget the walking dead. The ones with no flags and no honorable headstones. The ones walking our streets with the 100 yard stares. The ones with PTSD.


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