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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
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What No Parent Wants to Watch

U.S. Army pallbearers prepare to carry the transfer case of a deceased U.S. soldier into an aircraft during a departure ceremony on the flight line.

U.S. Army pallbearers prepare to carry the transfer case of a deceased U.S. soldier into an aircraft during a departure ceremony on the flight line.
Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. David Nolan

Twitter is an interesting concept – it is, above all else, a border-breaker. It breaks all boundaries, all separations between people – for the good and the bad. I am quite active on it – and as a result meet so many interesting people.

Only from this blog and twitter did I learn the meaning of a Gold Star mother or Gold Star father. Now when I see those words, my heart fills with pain. A Gold Star father changed his avatar, the picture associated with his twitter account.

It’s a beautiful avatar, a dedication to his son, who was just 20 when he died. All gave some – some gave all. Lt. Cpl Christopher Blake Rodgers gave all.

I clicked on the link associated with his father’s account and came to a YouTube video called “Dignified Transfer.” It is more than 14 minutes long – very long for a YouTube video. I watched every second of it. Tears began to fall just as the plane came into view the first time.

It is agony to watch – agony for anyone; especially the parent of a soldier. It is every parent’s nightmare, but especially the parent of a soldier. I watched it to the end and so many thoughts filled my mind. One of them, I’ll share – the title. It is so appropriate – this is the way civilized nations behave; this is the way we honor our dead and how we thank them. The last salute brought a crack to my heart that will take time to heal.

I have never met, nor will I ever meet this young man but from the way in which he was honored, and the love his father shares with us, I know I am lessened for never having met him. May God watch over Christopher Blake Rodgers and bless his memory. May he always be remembered for his sacrifice, his courage, and the love he clearly instilled in so many and may his family know no more sorrow.

About the Author: Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.

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One Response to “What No Parent Wants to Watch”

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