Friday, December 25, 2009

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

[Encore post from 2007]

My dad, who passed away in 1975, was a Navy veteran from World War II. He was 19 years old when he joined the Navy and went to war.

When I was growing up he was a Sunday School teacher for 12-year-olds in our Baptist church. Dad's favorite Christmas hymn was "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" ... the words had touched him because of his service during war. I've missed him the past 32 years and think of him every Christmas when I hear this song.

Our military men and women are working this Christmas, many far from home and away from their families. Let us remember those currently deployed or who have served to protect our freedoms and to keep us safe.

This is for Dad ... it's for Nate who is home this Christmas after two deployments to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps ... and for another home school graduate, David from Augusta County, who is currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army ... and for all our military members, past and present.

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

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