Angels Of The Highway Honor Veteran
Several years ago my father was killed in a tractor accident in Arkansas. He didn't have much
experience on a tractor. He was a military man. He'd seen combat duty in World War II, Korea, and
Viet Nam. For twenty-seven years he'd worn the uniform of his country and it was decorated with a
silver star, a bronze star, and a purple heart. He was to be buried with full military honors at
the national cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Things like that don't seem to matter to most folks
The lot had fallen to my older brother to drive to Pine Bluff, Arkansas to pick up the
cremated remains of my father and return them to the family home for a memorial service. My brother
drove home on Interstate 30 with a plastic box containing my father's remains and an American flag
riding on the passenger seat of his pickup. As he drove along, somewhere in east Texas, his
emotions started to get the best of him so he pulled on to the shoulder of the road to cry for a
He placed the plastic box and the neatly folded flag on the hood of his truck, sat on the
bumper and let the tears flow. It wasn't long before a trucker stopped to see if he was all right.
My brother told him the story and showed him the flag. The trucker listened patiently, patted my
brother on the shoulder, and said, "Son, It's going to be all right." The trucker disappeared for a
minute and was soon back at my brother's side.
In a few minutes another trucker stopped to pay his
respects and to listen to the story of my Father's life and passing. A few minutes later two more
truckers stopped to lend their support. Within fifteen minutes there were more than thirty rigs
parked along the interstate. The truckers stood in a semicircle around my Father's remains and
quietly paid their respects.
One of the truckers took off his cap and said, "Let's have a prayer."
All of the other truckers took off their caps and bowed their heads as a prayer was spoken. After
the prayer each of the truckers had a word of encouragement or strength. One of the truckers said,
"Come on friend. Follow us into town." The truckers all turned on their lights and escorted my
brother the rest of the way into the Metroplex.
I owe a debt to those unknown truckers. Those men
stopped to help what they thought might be a stranded traveler. Instead they paid a deep honor to a
man who had done his duty. Those truckers understood duty, honor, and sacrifice. And their kindness
helped my family to deal with its grief over the loss of our Father.
This Veterans day, and every day, lets never forget to give thanks for the many men and women
who have served their country -- at great cost to themselves -- for the common good of you,
me, and millions of others for the past, present, as well as future generations. Also,
lets all take time to show love for one another, as the truckers in this story did,
on a daily basis.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I
have loved you."
John 15:12 (NKJ)
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's
life for his friends."
John 15:13 (NKJ)
[ Bill Paxton -- from Al Ashman -- Ed:Anon ]
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