Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Story

This Memorial Day, I want to take you back to December of 2005, when I received the following e-mail:

I was doing a web search looking for cranes to use as Christmas ornaments when I happened upon your site. I was wondering what the approximate size of your ornaments were, where I could purchase them and if it would be possible to get them customized with lettering.

I sent back an email asking for some more information. The next day the following information came:

"I'm looking for 12 cranes and would need them by Wednesday 12/21. I live in ........., Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis.

Regarding the custom lettering, I was looking for them to have "Bobby" and "Believe" printed on each of the wings (either on top or on bottom), preferably in gold lettering."

I agreed to take on the project. I had no galleries carrying the cranes in the area at the time, and the last sentence pulled me in. I finished up the cranes, and contacted him again to find out where they needed to be shipped and payment information.

In the next e-mail, he said he would send me a check and gave me the mailing address. He also included the following:

"P.S. I happened to review your biography on your web site and thought you may, for inspiration or just curiosity, want to know the reason for my request. My nephew, Robert Paul Warns II was a marine killed in Iraq last November (there is an incredible 5-minute video tribute on the website). Since our family tends to be a bit on the spiritual side (kind of Catholics meet Buddha) we celebrate Bobby's life and feel and "believe" that his spirit is still with us. We've adopted the crane as a remembrance of Bobby, both because he used to fold them and give them to children in Iraq (he loved children) and also because of their significance as a symbol of peace. I am really looking forward to passing out your cranes as a special Christmas remembrance.

I have never been so touched in my life as I was by this story. Some eighteen months later it still brings tears to my eyes. I never cashed the check that was sent, and I sent a few more cranes. So they made a donation to a local charity that supports people who are working but struggling to make ends meet. Bobby Burns came from an amazing family. And there are many, many other families all across this country today who are missing their loved ones. Their brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, nieces and nephews. And each one has a story. Today, on memorial, remember Bobby, and all the other soldiers who have lost their lives in a war.

1 comment:

Polka Dot Creations said...

Thank you for sharing that story.