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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
It has become a ritual of mine to take photos of the cemetery here on Fort Leavenworth at various times of day, in different seasons, on holidays, and under certain weather conditions. There’s something about the pristine uniformity of this military cemetery that makes it so beautiful to me. And never is that more true than when the grounds are covered in a blanket of clean, undisturbed snow.

Blanket of Freedom

I look at the innumerable headstones and remember that each one represents a living soul:  a man, woman or (in some cases) teenager who was willing to take an oath to defend our nation against our enemies.

Many of these headstones represent those who died in the act of defending that oath.

Blanket of Freedom

I like to read the names—as unique as the snowflakes draped atop the headstones.

Blanket of Freedom

Occasionally, I’ll find a grave that has recently been visited by a loved one, and I fight back my tears. I breathe a deep sigh of gratitude for the bravery of the individuals remembered here. I breathe a deep sigh of sorrow for those who come here to remember their loved ones with flowers, wreaths, and flags.

Blanket of Freedom

And then I think of some of you—my blog readers—whose loved ones were killed in action. And I’m humbled.

Blanket of Freedom

As my eyes pass from one white tomb to the next, I can’t help but notice something else that is unavoidable in a place such as this. A symbol of a very real death—an historically recorded murder, in fact. The death of a man who secured freedom from spiritual death. And then I remember the words of Paul the Apostle in Philippians 1:21. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I look at the sunlight dancing across the white tombs and the even whiter snow, and I can’t help but wonder if I live my life in such a way that others will see my eternal-mindedness.

Update:  I wrote this post several days ago and scheduled it to go live today…before it was actually completed! Amateur move. Sorry if you got this post to your inbox and thought I fell asleep in the middle of it. This is one of the benefits I offer to blog subscribers:  you get to see my goof-ups in all their blazing glory.

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Comments to "Blanket of Freedom"

  1. Katy's Mama

    February 27, 2014

    I did read it this morning and thought it wasn’t finished but then forgot to tell you when I talked with you. I guess you may get your forgetfulness from your Mama. Great Post!!!

  2. Terri

    February 27, 2014

    May we never forget the sacrifice made by these men and women.
    Your pictures are sobering and beautiful.

  3. Shannon

    March 28, 2014

    Hi Katy,

    These are beautiful pictures. I am a mom of 3, and I just separated from the military after 13 years to stay at home while they are still small. I think it’s pictures like this that people should revere more, think about more, remember more. It is honor and respect and life and death. Thank you for your tribute. They always catch in my chest.

    Shannon
    USAF, 2001-2014

    • Katy in a Corner

      March 28, 2014

      Hi Shannon! Thank you so much for your comment and for your 13 years of service! I have immense respect for your willingness to serve AND for your decision to stay home with your 3 little ones. God bless you and your family as you embark on your change of career! Thank you again for your comment. I love our USAF family!

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