As some of you may know, I have a special interest in history. The thing that interests me about history is the individual stories. Whether it is the adventuress Nelly Bly, the brave Sacagawea, or the little known stories of laundresses and women of the army (of the American Revolution), all bring life and help to humanize the events that we learn about in our textbooks.
Last fall, my husband discovered an album by the D-Day Darlings, a vocal group in the UK that sings World War Two era songs in an effort to keep the memory and spirit of WWII veterans alive. You may remember I wrote about one of their songs, We'll Meet Again, last year on this blog. As we listened to the album, another song stood out to me. It is a song that the Darlings wrote to honor the veterans of this conflict (including many of their grandparents):
"I’ll remember you
For all the pain and courage
And All the loss and suffering
and how [you] Soldered on
I’ll remember you
From the letters grandma showed me
there were times that you were lonely
all those nights that you were gone.
I’ll remember you, it’ll always stay that way
You’ve gave your tomorrow, so we could live today.
We’ll never say goodbye, to all you sacrificed
I will remember you.
I’ll remember you with this photograph beside me
That’s what I have to remind me, and for the children all to see
They’ll remember you, and how you fought for freedom
there’s a hundred million reasons,
why your memory must live on.
I’ll remember you, it’ll always stay that way
You gave your tomorrow, so we could live today.
We’ll never say goodbye, to all you sacrificed I will, remember you.
I will, remember you….. " (1)
Often we start learning history from our parents and grandparents. We learn the lineage that we come from. The lands and the cultures we are part of are shared so we know who we are. We learn the stories of relatives who are no longer living. Sometimes these stories come as oral histories, passed down through the generations. Other times they come out through genealogical research.
My husband has had the privilege of interviewing all four of his grandparents. His maternal Grandmother enjoys genealogy. On my husband's paternal side of the family their last name changes a couple generations ago. Recently, he has found that his maternal family tree stretches to the early English colonies in this country.
My paternal Grandmother spent many hours doing genealogical research on both her and my grandfather's sides of the family. This information she collected and made into books for her children's families. I have always been fascinated with genealogical research. I can remember my mother doing some on her side of the family when I was little. Then when I attended college, I decided to take extra courses in genealogy. These classes and genealogical research have helped me in finding my mission of Telling Their Stories.
As the song says, "I'll remember you with this photograph beside me". Sometimes, just seeing someone's picture brings them to mind and brings stories out of those who knew them best. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes it is not just the stories connected with the pictures that are important but also the ones about the people in the picture.
For example, the couple on the left (the girl with the starfishes on her dress and the young man in a button-up shirt) are my maternal great-grandparents (my mother's mother's parents). This picture is from their wedding day on 8 August 1940. This picture shows the happy couple that would be married for 64 and a half years until his death 10 February 2005. While I got to know my great-grandmother a little bit, I was very little the times that I got to meet my great-grandfather. Yet I have heard so many happy stories from my mother about them. This picture also means a lot because I have gotten to try on that dress with the starfish on it.
At one point while listening to the D-Day Darlings' I'll Remember You, my husband remarked of how much the song reminded him of the story of Christ. The first stanza especially reminded him of Christ during Passion week and Easter. Christ fought for our freedom from sin and death. If Christ is not raised from the dead and we don't remember him, then there is no plan of salvation for this poor sin-filled world. "You gave your tomorrow, so we could live today. We’ll never say goodbye, to all you sacrificed ..." The gift of salvation that Christ gave to us is larger than we could ever ask for and is one that we cannot gain out of our own right. He gave freely so that we could live with him forever.
There are other pictures of Christ and GOD through this song. The Bible has often been called GOD’s love letter to us. When my husband and I were dating we would write letters back and forth to each other, these letters shared sometimes the deep feelings for each other that it was hard to express in person. Yet these are special because we now can look back and see our love for each other. In the same way, GOD gave us letters to show us HIS love. They show us HIS plan of salvation that Christ came to fulfill.
In this year of untraditional church services and plans for Easter weekend, one thing that I am looking forward is to the new episode of The Chosen TV series (more on that later ;). Before my husband and I started dating, he told me of a TV series about the life of Christ that he enjoyed watching. I decided to check it out for myself and got hooked rather quickly. The Chosen looks at the life of Christ through the eyes of those who follow and are around him, specifically Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, Matthew, and Nicodemus.
Starting tonight at 8:30pm EST, The Chosen will be showing episodes one and two from Season One on their YouTube page. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday they will be showing episodes three through eight as they ramp up to the release of Season Two's first episode on Easter Sunday at 8pm EST. My husband and I will be watching, I hope that you will join us!
This season of the year reminds us of Christ. He remembered us, and died in our stead on the cross. Let us not forget to say "I'll remember you" to the one who gave us eternal life.
(1) D-Day Darlings ~ I'll Remember You