At each reunion, we have lit candles for our fallen brothers.
This tradition has gone on for years.
We do it in remembrance and in honor
... and this is our last reunion.
We fought for liberty and an end to persecution.
We fought so that freedom's light could shine in
cities whose names we could not even pronounce.
Before we came home, we saw the reflection of freedom's light in faces all around us — no language barrier ... just humble thanks.
Each of us has become a candle in these sixty-odd years.
We've carried freedom's light in our life and in our heart.
The light comforted us through days and nights of remembering the horror of war.
Some of us, who returned home, have already died ... but, today our candles still burn.
Perhaps, sometimes, your candle was almost snuffed out or you burned it at both ends.
Life's unexpected puffs of wind have made all our candles flicker ... but for today, our candle still burns.
For as long as you live, let your candle burn.
Tell everyone who will listen how precious freedom is.
When your days seem dark, remember that half a world away candles burn for you - for your sacrifice, for your belief in freedom.
Let your candle burn to the very end and when your life slips away,
Carry that candle with you.
That old candle is you — you provided a generation of freedom's light and love.
Look for the light - our fallen brothers will lead the way.
God relit their candles long ago.
Leigh Barrett Hege