Many years ago as my son and I were looking through the tattered boxes of my great aunt Hallie Rogers’ memories and keepsakes, he studied the images of her young son who had died in WWII. His question still haunts me regarding those who have died for this great nation.
“Mom, who will remember them? Someone has to remember their sacrifice.”
A Time to Remember
“Hallie had already lost her young daughter at the age of seven, and now her only son had been called to war. He had all the promise of the future ahead – college degree, job prospects, and his sweetheart, Ginny, had said yes to his marriage proposal.
Buddy, (Warren Rogers, Jr.) was my dad’s first cousin. I never met him, but I knew his mother most of my life and was with her until her death at the age of 94. The pain she experienced in the loss of her only son was severe, and never fully healed. She took that pain and channeled it into the lives of hundreds of children through Good News Club Bible Time in her home.
Today once again, I remember Buddy, and in so doing, I am paying tribute to thousands of men and women who have died in the service of America. I am remembering the mothers and dads, brothers and sisters, the children, the sweethearts, the wives and husbands – and all the family and friends who have lost a loved one. I am pausing for a moment in time to say thanks for the sacrifice.
The sacrifices experienced in war are horrendous – the pain seared deeply upon the hearts and lives of all who have been touched, – unfathomable. Though I didn’t go to battle, my life has been touched by those who have fought and continue in the cause of freedom around the world.
Our Lives are Open Books
The research I embarked upon nearly 25 years ago may never lead to a published book – but the pages of life that have unfolded before me in my quest to understand this wonderful lady, “Aunt Hallie”, have forever become a part of my precious memories. Theirs is a book already written, published upon the pages of eternity, and indelibly printed upon my heart. These are the stories of love and loss, victory and defeat, hopelessness and courage, faith and endurance, joy and heartache. Their chapters will forever be remembered as a story of resilient courage, and an overcoming, undying faith.
My research has taken me across Florida, Washington, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and most of Ohio in a period of more than 20 years and countless hours digging and probing into musty tattered letters, diaries, documents, and photographs. The journey of research is coming to a conclusion and I realize that it’s okay if I never write the book. I’ve already read it, practically memorized it, and now understand that God is writing a new book on the pages of my life. My time is now. Each day He gives me here on earth is a page, a chapter, a portion of the book He is writing upon eternity through me.
January 7, 1945, Pvt. Warren Rogers Jr. went to war. On February 11, serving with General Patton in Germany, Warren drew his final breath here on earth – but his very first in heaven. His parents didn’t receive word of his death until March 9, 1945. Today I pause once again in honor and memory.