Tuesday, June 3, 2014

July 4th Memories

The first time I visited the Sun Valley area in ID was for our engagement party in 2001. We went to a party at the house of our best man's family and watched the fireworks on July 4. At that party I met a Presbyterian UPS driver and had a pretty long conversation with him as I got to know friends of Ram's family. 

After we moved to MN we tried to visit Ram's parents every other July. That was a good time to visit his parents especially for weather to drive there. July 4 is always fun in a "small" town. We weren't able to get there every year so we enjoyed the times we did go.

Time passed and Ram added that Presbyterian UPS driver's son to our prayer list in MN. Our church prayed for him every Sunday. Ram was often asked who that was on the prayer list.

Then we moved to ID and when Ram made sure he was on the prayer list at our new church, there was no explanation needed for the members. This was his home state and everyone knew who he was.

Many of the businesses in the Sun Valley area were decorated with signs like this for the past 5 years.

The first July 4 we were here we were thrilled to be just 3 hours from Ram's parents. I cried during the whole parade when I saw his dad silently walk the parade route. He was Grand Marshall even though he was absent.

July 4, 2012

That Christmas I read a Christmas card from his mom. It really put perspective on those prayers each Sunday at church to hear what his mom said after 3 years. My parents visited last July 4 and we all went to the parade with Ram's parents. It was different than the year before and this is the only photo I took where I saw that he was remembered. That made me sad for his parents.
July 4, 2013

On Saturday my mom e-mailed me to tell us that he was freed. It was so ironic that she e-mailed me before I saw it on the news here in ID. I was immediately thankful for his parents. My mom had e-mailed some other friends about it too. That evening my mom and I started receiving some e-mails from people that weren't so thankful about his release.

His poor hometown has been flooded with communications in how disappointed they are with the town for rejoicing that he is home. Some have canceled trips to Sun Valley due to the situation. Sun Valley has huge tourism so this is not good. Add to that last summer they lost business at the busiest time of the year due to a wildfire.

My brother-in-law is in the military along with other friends. I pray for their safety daily. I will never understand what it is like to be a military wife or daughter, I only see how difficult it is for my sister to be a military wife. I understand what the comments being made now are about. The comments may be true or may not be true. What is clear to me is that this whole situation is very complicated.

Beginning Saturday evening at least 75% of the local news is on this story. I really did want to hear the press conference with his parents on Sunday. But the rest of it is a bunch of media speculation. I keep telling myself (and talking to the TV!) these points:
1. Let's let the military deal with it according to military and United States laws.
2. Remember that he is innocent until proven guilty 
3. One part that has to be easier for the military is they don't have to be careful in the area that they thought he was in now that he is released.
4. Let's just take this one step at a time. He's not even back in America yet.

We live in a fallen world. Our churches in MN and now ID have remembered him in our prayers each Sunday since he was captured. We plan to continue to keep him in our prayers as now it might be even more important to pray for him. We will also keep America in our prayers during this time. May God bless America!

*All photos in this post were taken by Ewe between Nov. 2011-July 2013.

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