Freedom and Life

Each year on Remembrance Day I think about John Peacock.  Years ago, when I was just a child, he shared with me his story of being a prisoner of war during the Korean conflict.  I was too young at the time to fully understand the politics, but was the sort of kid who was a bit old for my age, so I listened intently as he spoke.  I knew he was telling me his story so that no one would forget just how much horror could be packed into the word ‘war’ and so I would value the small freedoms in life that I take for granted.  He sat down in the rickety sunday school chair, looked my 8 year old self right in the eye and bluntly shared with me about his experience in the war.  The terror of being captured…the gruesome details of his torture which told me just how awful we humans can be to each other.  It shocked me to hear of him being kept for months in a tiny bamboo cage, the burnings, beatings, the isolation and being buried alive.  He leaned in close as he told of finally coming home and trying to adjust to life again…of struggling to forgive and let go of it.  And he asked that we always, always remember what he experienced and to appreciate freedom and life.  So, today I remember John Peacock.

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