Our oldest son, Brad, was in the Marines on active duty at the time. He had been advised he'd be deployed, but he didn't know where, or even what it would entail. It was top secret. Even so, he had to pack and prepare, as did his wife and two children; he for his mysterious destination; they for a period without him.
Within weeks he was gone, and none of us had a clue where he was for some time. Iraq? Pakistan?
In time we learned he was stationed on the inglorious island of Guam - a speck on the map that is little more than a large rock in the Philippine Sea. There, he and his fellow Marines were commissioned to guard our Southern Pacific shores from who-knew-what; and there he remained for well over a year.
I'm not sure why I'm sharing this other than to say it has been among the many vivid recollections I've had in these days following the 10th anniversary of the horror played out on 9 / 11. Our son is no more noble than all the others that ramped up to heal this nation then, or now; but he certainly is representative, as is his wife & children. Sacrifice has new meaning in these contexts; so does duty.
Hardly a day passes that I don't consider the subject of service in general, and of duty in particular. Both are the unique privilege of servants. No wonder Jesus linked ministry with duty; living with giving:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and their high officials exercise authority over them.
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great
among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first
must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come
to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Semper Fi - Shortened by the Marines
(Latin for "Always Faithful")
I love you Brad & Megan!