I'm not a very religious person. I was born into one protestant denomination and was switched into another as I started first grade. I don't see religious of spiritual beliefs as a life-long decision. As I learned more about the beliefs and doctrine of my "new" faith, I realized that I didn't (don't) believe in the ones that define that denomination.
There are some things I do believe strongly. I believe in the miracle described in this famous cartoon (click the thumbnail to see it full size, please):
I do believe there is Something "in charge", whether that's a force, a being or something so incredible that I simply can't fathom it, I don't know. I don't need to know. I have faith there's Something, whether it's a Creative Force, a single G_d, a trinity of God, multiple gods - it's not important for me to be able to define it.
The Friends or Quakers often use the word "Light."
Friends believe that the Inward Light is present as an inward guide and teacher. Encouragement to "mind the Light" or "walk in the Light," is counsel to live with integrity and with fidelity to Truth to the best of one's ability. "Holding another in the Light" is a way of expressing a concern for God's guidance and care for a person."
My friend David LaMotte introduced me to the phrase In the Light. Even though it may mean something different to him as a Quaker than to me as a ... nothin', I think that for each of us it seeks a powerful, healing Energy, Safety, Love and Comfort for those we hold In the Light.
David used the phrase in a song he released on his first CD (both titled, "In the Light"). This song has been included on each of the live CD's he released through the years and on his concert DVD. In his generosity David has allowed me to share it here with you. (In the Light is copyright David LaMotte; Simple Gifts is public domain.) The photos included are from IGTNT for the past month or so.
Thank you to David LaMotte and to everyone who tried to help me arrange a way to post the song for people to be able to play it here.
In the Light (last verse & chorus)
It's so easy to get distracted
When I'm working day in and day out
I get lost in all the numbers
I forget what it's all about
But couldn't we cross the boundaries
Can't we conquer the fear
Shouldn't we love each other?
Isn't that why we're here?
And if we're gonna do it
Let's do it right
Let's bring back the magic tonight
It'll all work out fine
If you just let it shine
I'm gonna hold you
I'm gonna hold you in the Light
Words and music by David LaMotte
©1999 Lower Dryad Music/ASCAP
Today we Hold in the Light:
- Sgt. Gene L. Lamie, 25 of Homerville, Georgia
- Pfc. Le Ron A. Wilson, 18, of Queens, New York
- Pfc. Bruce C. Salazar Jr, 24, of Tracy, California
- Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, 20, of Independence, Oregon
- Cooper, partner of Cpl. Wiens
Sgt. Gene L. Lamie, 25, of Homerville, was killed Friday in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an explosive, the military said Tuesday.
Lamie was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart.
WALB News of Albany, Valdosta and Thomasville Georgia tells us that Gene is survived by Dara, his wife and their three year old daughter and eight month old son. He was on his second tour of duty.
His mother says he was born with the heart of a soldier and had been passionate about serving his country since birth.
"A soldiers life was what he wanted. He was proud of this country and to serve this country. He was actually in my home when this war began, and of course I started to cry and he said, 'Mama, you know I'm going,'" says Linda Lamie.
Pfc. Le Ron A. Wilson, Queens, NY
Le Ron was killed in the same vehicular explosion that took Gene Lamey. The New York Post states
Pfc. Le Ron Wilson, 18, of Rosedale, was killed Friday in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an explosive.
"When he was 16, he told me don't buy him a birthday present. He just wanted me to sign the papers for him to join the Army as his 17th birthday present."
Le Ron was born in Trinidad, and is mourned by the people of Trinidad-Tobago, including his father Lawrence Wilson, a Cadet Force Major. From the Trinidad & Tobago Express:
"This feels like falling with nothing to hold on to. I don't know what next to do. You're just falling, falling, hoping for some ground, some answer to this whole thing," Lawrence said yesterday during an interview at his San Juan home.
"Look at this boy's face. The baby milk still there. I never wanted this for him. I don't know what to feel, what to say. It is one thing to bury your parents, but your son..."
In Newsday, his friend and classmate recalled
"When class was so boring, he'd just sit and kick out a ... freestyle ," said Corey Bradley, 18, who met Wilson in the ninth grade at Thomas Edison High School. "He just said anything just to make people smile."
Pfc. Bruce C. Salazar Jr, of Tracy, CA
A Modesto soldier was killed by a roadside bomb near Baghdad last Thursday.
Even as a teenager, his mom knew someday Bruce would serve his country.
"When we wasn't outside playing, he was down at the Army recruiting office talking to soldiers and dreaming about his future," says Mother, Suzie Ruiz.
The Modesto Bee speaks more to Bruce's mother:
Ruiz said her son always was ready to defend the United States. "He didn't understand why he was there (in Iraq), but he was going to fight for his country. He didn't agree with what was happening there, but he was still willing to fight."
Ruiz said she doesn't see any good purpose in Iraq either. "We don't know who we're fighting in Iraq, and it's all booby-trapped. They ought to bring our troops home.
She remembers her son:
"He was a good kid with a big smile. He was always there when I needed him. He was there for everybody," his mother said.
Bruce is survived by his mother, father, sister and four half-sisters. Per the Modesto Bee, he is the 21st soldier or marine from 'Northern San Joaquin Valley' killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Please remember the people of Northern San Joaquin Valley in their time of loss.
Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, of Independence, OR
Kory is remembered in the Albany Democrat-Herald:
Wiens’ brother Kevin, also serving in Iraq, is escorting his brother’s body to Oregon along with Cooper’s, said West Principal Susie Orsborn, who has talked to Wiens’ father, Kevin, now of Dallas in Polk County. She said the father has declined to talk with the press.
"This is the fourth member of our school family to die in Iraq," Orsborn said. "It’s just so sad. I want to make sure the family knows that the school’s thoughts are with Kory."
Friends thoughts were included in the Democrat-Herald article:
Melissa Corrick said Wiens could make anyone smile, and Danniel Butler said he was "an all-around great guy who was always carrying a smile, and he was always in a good mood. No matter what happened, he always looked on the bright side."
His friends and family also remember Kory on his MySpace Page where Kory said,
My name is Kory Wiens, I like to work on trucks and cars. Im from Albany Oregon. I live in Missoure because Im in the Army. Stuck in Fort Leonard Wood with nothing to do. I love my dog that I have here, he is the best thing in Ft.Leonard Wood. My job is to play with him all day! The other good thing about this place is that I can go 4x4 when ever I want! Well not in FLW anymore!!! Now Im in Iraq!!!!! Having alot of fun, hard to belive huh? Well I have Cooper with me so everything is alright. Hopefulley I will be In Oregon in September! Well if you want to know anything about me then just message me.
I love you my friend, we all love you. You were one in a million and your brilliant blue eyes are still our memories as if the last time we looked upon them were moments ago.
The news articles and comments and photos on his MySpace page include many mentions of Kory's partner, and the final entry in today's I Got the News Today.
Cooper, partner of Cpl. Wiens
The Army News, in an article about dogs like Cooper, explains:
Like Soldiers, SSDs rely heavily on their battle buddies. An SSD's battle buddy is his trainer, parent and friend. He is the SSD's handler, and their success as a team depends on their ability to work together.
Kory said about Cooper,
Pfc. Kory Wiens of the 94th Eng. Detachment has been with his dog, Cooper, for nearly a year. The 20-year-old combat engineer said he's grateful to be a dog handler. When Wiens first met the yellow lab, the pup didn't know simple obedience commands. That's all changed.
"I got to teach him all the things he knows, today," Wiens said. "Seeing him out there working is very rewarding. It's amazing to see how far he's come."
The photo description in the Albany Democrat-Herald (linked above) states:
Pfc. Kory Wiens and his dog, Cooper, are shown in a photo taken from Kory's My Space page. Cooper was also killed.
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count reports that 3608 American soldiers have been confirmed killed in action in Iraq by the Department of Death, with 2 more deaths pending notification of the families. The DoD news releases are on this site.
If you'd like to help our soldiers, consider sponsoring a soldier at TroopCarePackage.com. anysoldier.com, Operation Helmet, and Fisher House are also wonderful organizations that offer additional opportunity to help out American soldiers.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Monkeybiz, Sandy on Signal, silvercedes, noweasels, greenies, American Daughter, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, Wee Mama, MsWings, and twilight falling.
When posting your thoughts, please remember that families and friends of the service members may read the site.