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The Spirit of Courage and Healing: For All Those Who Served: Part 2 - Healing By Catherine Ehlers-Brown Time stood still and so did Ardy. He was not sure how long he had stood there but he felt frozen in time. Something had happened in those infinitely still moments. Ardy felt as though for those few moments he had experienced what one might call eternity. Ardy was now overcome with intense gratitude for whatever had happened to him while time stood still. No matter what it was, it was surely a blessing from somewhere beyond the limits of his mind. Without breaking the tranquility of the moment, Ardy moved toward the stone monument that stood at the top of the broken heart area. The stone monument that was inscribed with the words: “Dedicated to our living and silent defenders past and present. In a righteous cause they have won immortal glory and have notably served their nation in serving mankind.” Author Unknown. Ardy read the inscription aloud as he had done many a time on his daily walk to this special place. However, this time he was moved to repeat the words silently within his own mind. As he did, a whole new wave of emotions began to wash over him. Ardy was trying to get his emotions under control when he heard a loud, powerful voice coming from somewhere in the distance. Ardy distinctly heard the words, “they don’t know that.” Ardy feared that he was losing the few fragments of sanity he had left. He was shaken to the core and in his shock

and confusion he responded by yelling aloud, “who doesn’t know that?” The voice replied, “neither the living nor silent defenders, past or present”. Still confused and not sure what was happening or why it was happening to him, Ardy, yelled again even louder to the unknown voice, “what don’t they know?” The voice replied, “They don’t know they have won immortal glory.” “Why don’t you tell them,” Ardy angrily screamed back. After a brief silent pause, the voice, that was so full of love and compassion replied, “Because…. YOU, Ardy, must be the one to tell them.” Ardy fell to his knees. Now he was kneeling on the cold, hard concrete heart that was as cold and hard as his own heart had become. Tears again flowed down his cheeks. Once again, emotions engulfed him. Fear and frustration were added to Ardy’s shock and confusion. Why did he of all people have to tell them? How was he supposed to tell them? He didn’t even

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know who “them” were! Angrily, Ardy shouted aloud to the voice that came from some unknown place, “haven’t I sacrificed enough already?” After calming himself, Ardy spoke a little quieter. He asked the loving voice, “Why do I have to tell them?” The response to Ardy’s question was, “Because the silent defenders can hear your voice at this moment in time.” “Free the silent from their guilt, pain, and suffering by repeating the inscription aloud and silently from the depts of your heart and soul. Speak to the hearts and souls of the silent defenders who are lost between your world and mine.” Ardy, now overcome with strength, love and compassion, read the inscription both aloud and silently from the very depths of his heart and soul: “Dedicated to our living and silent defenders past and present. In a righteous cause they have won immortal glory and have notably served their nation in serving mankind.” As Ardy finished re-reading the inscription, a picture began to form in his mind’s eye. He began to see what he could only imagine were the souls of those silent defenders, who because of confusion, guilt and fear, similar to his own, did not know they had already won immortal glory. Ardy began to experience an overwhelming sense of peace and freedom. Now they knew! Now they were free! And so was he! Ardy watched in awe as he continued to see the picture in his mind’s eye of the “souls” as they began to move toward a light that illuminate a path to what he could only imagine was their

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immortal home. The “souls” of the silent defenders, past and present, accepting the ultimate prize for their ultimate sacrifice…immortal glory. To say the least, Ardy was transfixed to that spot there in front of the monument just at the top of the broken heart. He was afraid to move for fear he would break the spell or whatever it was that had him frozen in time. A divine feeling of love and peace began to surround him and flow through his body, mind, spirit and soul. The forceful but loving and compassionate voice returned to share final words meant just for Ardy. “Because you have notably served your nation and mankind, you have already won immortal glory. Because of your love and compassion for your fellow defenders, you have now won mortal glory. The mortal glory of freedom, peace, love and forgiveness. You, Ardy, have found the courage to help the silent defenders to heal from conflict, pain and suffering. You have also healed and freed your own soul and human spirit of the conflict and pain that were locked within you. Ardy, today you have served in the ultimate righteous cause.” The kind and loving voice once again directed Ardy, “Now go and tell your story to the defenders who are still living. Let your voice be heard aloud and from the quiet depths of your soul. Let them know they too can heal. Let them know they deserve to be forgiven and to be free. Speak so that the living defenders, both past and present, can win mortal glory in their own lifetimes. Help the living defenders to find their freedom as you have done today on behalf of yourself and the silent defenders.” “For you, Ardy, and all of the living and silent defenders, past and present, shall one day share the infinite gift of immortal glory…… for all eternity.” Written for Ardy, in honor and memory of all who served.

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Pennsylvania Bridges - "Stories We Tell" - May 2019  

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