Merry Christmas Portage! For many families, this means an empty seat at the table for Christmas dinner today because their loved ones are serving in our armed forces.
I hope and pray for peace in this world. The King of all kings was born at Christmas to bring peace and good will toward all men. I know in my heart that we must defend these freedoms for which we have been accustomed to but what if we were a kinder and gentler world just as Jesus had taught? Just a thought but while this world continues as it does, I honor all who serve our country with this poem which reflects on Santa’s sights of a soldier on Christmas Eve.
T’was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone. In a one-bedroom home made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this home did live. I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings by the mantle, just boots filled with sand, on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sober thought came to my mind. For this house was different, it was dark and dreary, I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor of this one-bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I just read? Curled up on a poncho, a floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw that night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world the children will play, and grownups will celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They enjoyed the freedom each month of the year, because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “ Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice; I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps.”
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep, I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold night’s air.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night, and this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day and all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right "Merry Christmas my friend and to all a good night.”
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.