Monday, May 21, 2012

Keep Your Eye on the Grand Old Flag!

What. A. Weekend! We are running on fumes, and we're the best kind of tired there is. Exhaustion doesn't begin to cover it, but there are no signs of slowing down just yet.

**I mentioned last week that there would be a special post about our friend John today, but that is going to be published later this week. We are still collecting memories and there just wasn't enough time this weekend to do any justice to his story. Thanks for understanding!**

Our tiny town is abuzz this morning, and folks from all over are beginning to catch the same patriotic, honorable, good feelings that some of have have been experiencing for a few days now. With our streets lined with flags proudly waving, John Bradshaw is affecting the lives of people who didn't even know him. Messages like, "I didn't know John Bradshaw, but I do know that he was loved!" are cropping up all over Facebook. And there is no doubt about that - John was a special guy, and dozens and dozens of friends have come together over the last couple of days to show their honor and love for him and for his family.

Welcoming John Home

On Saturday, we welcomed John back to his hometown for the very last time. We know that this was only John's temporary home and that he has been promoted to his (much more awesome) permanent residence. God has said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Even though we don't understand why he was taken from us when he was, we all know that God's mission for him was stamped: COMPLETE. Now he is experiencing his reward! So while there are still tears and still prayers being sent up for his family, we want to make sure that John is given the honorable send off that he deserves.

If you happen to live in the area and have seen all of the flags running on both sides of State Rt. 3, then you have a little appreciation for what was done well into the night last night, with rain drizzling and hammers pounding. Somewhere between 1500 and 2200 large flags (they lost count!) were manually driven into the ground by friends and family who volunteered to show their love and appreciation for our friend. What is seen in town is only a glimpse of what was done. From what I have been told, there are even MORE flags waving at the end of the procession where we will lay John to rest tomorrow.

Many people showed up to help post flags. 

And they worked well into the night...

Eric tried to get a picture on his way to work this morning, but if you've seen it for yourself, you know that pictures can't possibly have the impact of driving through them!

Thank you to everyone who gave of their time this weekend. Whether it was standing on a hillside to welcome John home on Saturday or working late last night to complete the huge task of lining the funeral procession with flags. Whether it was cleaning the church, cooking food, watching kiddos, or moving tables and many of you have come together, and it is a truly beautiful thing. Also, a big thanks to the city of Red Bud for keeping up their flags all throughout the town in honor of John. There is so much truth in the idea that ONE person's life can effect so many others'. While John isn't physically present with us, God is still using him to bring unity and to draw others to himself.

I know that many of you did not know our friend, but his family would still love to see you and get to know you. If you are local and would just like to pay your respects to a fallen Airman and all-around good guy, you can find information on the visitation this evening and funeral tomorrow here:

There is still much work to be done. And we are happy to do it. I have a feeling that the impact this young man has had on so many is something our little city will be talking about for a very long time.


Melissa W. said...

How incredibly awesome...just like John.

See you tomorrow...

Joyce said...

Thanks for the post Adrien, yes John was a remarkable young man, and deserves an honorable send off. I am just glad I had the opportunity to know him.

Ashley Mitchell said...

pretty amazing..

The Pettijohn's said...

It was truly amazing seeing all the flags on my way to work this morning. Pictures do no justice.

Cassie said...

leaving to go to work this morning - wow that was quite the experience driving through those flags.
very moving.

Samantha Helm said...

My heart is heavy as a read about this wonderful young man that was taken far too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and we will say a special prayer and honor him this year on Memorial Day.

Mandy said...

I didn't know John, but this shows how much he was loved!! What an amazing way to honor him. Adrien, what a thoughtful blog and well deserved tribute!!


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