Today my family visited the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas. As I strolled through the exhibit, I found myself among a few middle aged folks, those that probably lived through the wars that were being displayed, and my seven year old daughter being the youngest.
While wondering through I read some of the stories of the wars but found myself really finding my way to the photos that were displayed. The soldiers, the children, the wreckage from bombings, women and men surviving the best way they knew how in those horrific times.
I do not have even an inkling of what it was like to go without food, have a husband or sibling or father sent to fight in battles. I can’t relate but I can empathize. The photos of Hitler and the people who were treated so badly just hurt my heart so much. I explained to the seven-year old that Hitler was not a good person and why. She looked at me with dismay and then went on her way. I hope in my life, her life, and even my great grandchildren’s lives they never have to endure anything remotely like what occurred during then or any of the wars. Another thing that I found among my thoughts was if there is anywhere that has such a display for the wars that I am familiar with. Vietnam, Gulf, and the Afghanistan.
Honestly, I’ve never been very interested in things of history, but now that I am aging I do. Perhaps because I am married to someone that is interested and I have had a son-in-law that had to go to battle in Afghanistan.
I suppose I am more of a picture looking person verses a reading one of things of history. I like to ponder on a picture from long ago and think about what they were feeling. What their life might have been like.
As we read and heard about President Eisenhower and the life he led, it made me quite proud to be an American. To be honest, there are days it’s difficult to see the good in America with what passes through my newsfeeds and television and even the newspaper.
I’ve written of it before, how I long for a simpler, more peaceful time. A time when pillbox hats were in, beautiful dresses were worn, front porches were used, and families wrote letters to communicate. Yes, I love my instant access to photos of family that don’t live near me and text messages from people too, but some days the closeness of family can be found in an envelope of handwritten words.
There were wars, there were hard times, there were arguments and not so appropriate sayings. I know these existed “back in the day”. But surely they were not in everyone’s face, on a daily basis or moment by moment. I don’t want to “go off the grid” but being a person who longs for simple is sometimes hard.
The temptations are here and I find myself falling for them. Whether it’s too much food intake, time on the computer or smart phone, the wrong langauge being used, and the skipping of devotion time, to reading things not appropriate. I know in this world temptation is here daily and it takes an armor of God to endure.
I think, even if President Eisenhower wasn’t from Kansas, my home state I still would have liked him. He seemed to be a man of integrity and cared for the people of the country he was from.
As I wondered through the museum, I found myself sneaking peaks at those around me. I found one older gentleman with tear filled eyes. I said a prayer for him while standing close. In hopes that his heartache, whatever it may have been, would be eased soon.
I am grateful we spent part of today visiting history and learning more about a great President of the United States. It made me appreciate what I have, the freedom that has been given, and the integrity we should strive for.
Grace is a gift,