Sunday, May 25, 2014

Choosing to Remember

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I was inspired this morning by my pastor's sermon entitled, "Choosing to Remember." He was reminding us what Memorial Day is all about and how it can seem forgotten. Often times the traditions of the holiday become more important than the holiday itself. We see this every year during the Christmas season and we are often reminded not to forget the real reason for Christmas. I was glad to have the reminder this morning as to the real meaning of Memorial Day.

Several years ago, my class of about 18 students adopted a soldier serving in Iraq. He also just so happened to be the uncle of one of my students that year. She was very close to her uncle and was really missing him. I decided to send our class bear to Iraq to visit "Uncle David" and report back to us. The plan was, each of my students would write a letter to a service member and David would find someone willing to write back with answers to our questions. The letters were adorable and so real! I was amazed at their questions and their concerns. We ended up compiling all the letters into a hardcover book that each student got a copy of.

Jump ahead several years, and Sergeant DeRienzo is now Chaplain DeReinzo. He is also now married with two little boys. He was deployed last year to Afghanistan and is still there serving as I write this. My class sent him letters about a month ago and I thought it would be appropriate to share them on this particular weekend as my way of choosing to remember.

Here are the letters my students wrote:

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

     What do you do in Afghanistan? What weather is it? What food do you eat? What close(clothes) do you wear? My room is good. Do you have a room to? Do you have friends? You are special to me. Are you learning to be a soldier?

Dear Chaplain Derienzo,         

My name is Seth. Is it fun to 
be a chaplain? Is it nice in        
Afghanistan? What is hard to   
be a chaplain? Do you like it?   
I am in first grade.                     
Your friend,      

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

Is the weather nice in Afghanistan?
Here it is hot and cold. What is it like there?
Do you stay in a hotel? Do you wear special
clothes in Afghanastan?

Your little friend,

Dear Derienzo,                         

My name is Emma. Is it fun
in Afghanistan? I am in grade 1.
I love it hear in Maine. What       
kind of close(clothes) do you       
wear whene your working?         

      Your Friend,            

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo

   My name is Ellie. I am in first
grade. Do you like your job as a
chaplain. How is it in Afghanistan.
What color is you clothes that you
were(wear) as a chaplain.


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,  

I live in buxden maine. I love 
the ocean do you? why do you
work at the army. do you like  
to play Uno? do you love God?


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

My name is Noelle and i am six
years old. I live in maine. Do you
have any siblings? What do you
do as a chaplain? do you teach
people about God.


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,        

My name is Sophia. I am kind to  
other. Is Afghanistan fun? Are you
safe at Afghanistan?                      


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

  My name is Eliana. I live in the
Northeast Region. Is Afghanistan
very fun? Is it hard to be a chaplain?

             your new friend

Chaplain Derienzo was kind enough to send us a reply. Here it is:

So, as we choose to remember on this Memorial Day Weekend, and as Pastor Phil reminded me...

We choose to remember:

 the faithfulness of God
the patriotic sacrifices of others
to keep our priorities straight
the biggest sacrifice of all-Jesus Christ

Choose to Remember

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