America's beauty shines at soldier's memorial
Three years ago, Sgt. Looney lost part of his right foot in Iraq. He went through rehab, was fit for a prosthetic, and instead of opting out of the military and out of the battlefield, he picked up right where he left off.
Sgt. Looney put his boots back on the ground. He sacrificed it all at 22 years old.
What you are about to witness, via beautiful spot photography from “Owassoisms” and others, is the free-flowing love of a state and a country I am proud to call home. On Monday, the community of Owasso was filled to the brim with thankfulness, and the streets were lined with flag-carrying townspeople, who were paying last respects to their fallen son.
Study these photos. Think about them often. And this Fourth of July… before the cookout, before the fireworks, before skiing at the lake… take a moment to remember the men and women who are still in harm’s way. In this time of war, please remember why our independence is such a celebratory event. And even if it isn’t commonplace for your family, spend a moment in prayer or meditation for the family of Sgt. Looney and for the comrades he left behind.
I can’t prove it, but I believe that in your little moment of thanks, a camouflage-clad hero halfway across the world will feel your love in their soul. Some how, some way, they will sense your pride. But if you genuinely reflect on their courage before grabbing your picnic fork, this I do know: The potato salad and blueberry cobbler will taste sweeter. When you look up at an American flag whipping in the wind… it will sound crisper. The voices of your loved ones… will become lovelier.
For this young soldier, a family weeps. Owasso weeps. Oklahoma weeps. America weeps. Lady Liberty applauds. The angels, no doubt, rejoice.
Goodbye, Sgt. Looney. May you take up post on the highest star, guard from afar and have a multitude of peace in your heart.
Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends
My country,’ tis of thee
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing
from every mountainside let freedom ring
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
The colors of the rainbow… so pretty… in the sky
Are also on the faces… of people… going by
I see friends shaking hands… saying how do you do
They’re really saying… I… love… you.
And I think to myself… what a wonderful world.
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
From a distance… there is harmony
and it echoes through the land
And it’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves
it’s the heart of every man.
Army Sgt. Andrew R. Looney
June 26, 1987 ~ June 21, 2010