We left the motel together at 6:00 pm to visit the wall and have a service on Saturday night. The team visited the wall where a moment of silence was given and then the playing of TAPPS and a prayer. We then found a grassy place to set between the wall and the National Capital where IPHC Chaplain Timothy Moore and retired Col. Shalom Almog (Israeli Defense Force) spoke to us about their military experiences. Afterward we were led in “Amazing Grace” and meditated the war that is at hand in the USA. We ended the song and then turned toward the National Capital and sang it one more time to make a statement to all who could hear that we were expressing our Freedom of Religion on a National Park and believe for God’s grace to fill and cover our national leaders.
The next morning at 5:30 am we departed the motel once again to man water hoses, scrub brushes, trash bags and brooms to clean two sacred places, the Korean and Vietnam Walls. As we attacked the job there was some interesting things take place: 1) We were joined by a young man from Japan who asked if he could assist us. We assured him he was welcome and at the conclusion of the washing, he thanked us ‘for accepting him”. A core value of M25 is love and acceptance. 2) We were joined by a professional photographer who is doing 365 Days Across America. He will use the pictures to help tell his story next year in a national magazine. This will expand our statement, ‘The Church Of America Thanks You (the veteran) For Our Freedom of Religion”. There is nothing any more moving than to wash these walls. One man was blessed to make his first visit to the wall and was honored to clean the wall where his best high school friend is listed, killed when he was just 20 years old. Another man stated that it was like washing the feet of these men, as Jesus washed His disciples. All 68 of us signed a “Jesus Loves Biker’s” teeshirt and there was a special time of presenting it before the wall.
We then traveled to the Arlington Cemetery where Sgt Rock (Stephen Walker), Ordained Minister of the Great Plains Conference, shared his story of First Lt. Doan sacrificing his life to save two of his men’s lives (Sgt Rock was one of them). It was a moving story and brought more meaning to John 15 …. no great love hath a man than to lay down his life for another… One of the connections that was unique, the other man saved by Lt Doan’s act of ultimate sacrifice came from Goldsboro, NC, First Church in Goldsboro had over 40 of the workers there.
The trip was attended by seven churches, and three senior pastors from Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. The ages were from pre-teen to senior citizen. As Chaplain Moore later stated, ‘The event was an incredible honor to serve those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. The fellowship was phenomenal, the service was honorable, and the ministry eternal.’. Cleaning the wall is an act of Mission:M25 to promote healing to veterans and reach out to the overlooked and neglected who have sacrificed for our Freedom of Religion.