Always In Our hearts
LCpl Anthony Melia
Our Guardian Angel
This is Vicki, our beautiful Gold Star Mom. She reluctantly allowed me to photograph her. Don't let the smile fool you. All bereaved moms have learned to put on that brave face. She is still very much grieving the loss of her precious boy, and I know how deep that pain runs. It is a coincidence that the picture is red, white, and blue, but I think so very fitting for this tender, precious mom who honored her son's desire to become a Marine, knowing the personal risk involved.
Around her neck are Anthony's dog tags and one with his picture. She said this picture oddly fell off the chain the day her beautiful 21 year old son died, though it never has before or since.
Vicki is a testimony to the sustaining power of a deep faith in God. She has learned in the past four years to entrust her son to God's care, and herself to His guidance. Her life is so changed now and she sees the world through different eyes. Her greatest desire is to serve. Her greatest joy was being able to go to Haiti after the earthquake, to hold and feed starving traumatized babies.
She said it gave her a taste of her son's war experience, as she lived in tents, without plumbing or showers, with meager food, and sleepless nights. It was an essential connecting point with him. She fell in love with those little children and hopes to go again.
This is the sign in front of the house.
Freedom Isn't Free
Our Unforgotten Hero
L Cpl. Anthony Melia
January 27, 2007
Inside their home, Anthony's honors and memorabilia are every where. In the corner, his boots and helmet. In the trophy case, his precious ashes.
Anthony is a true American Hero.
Thank you for giving all, Anthony and Vicki and Melia Family.
We honor the pain and suffering of your sacrifice.
On the walls, beautiful, beloved Anthony. Bereaved families are very similar, I think, military or not. Pictures of our cherished child are everywhere. Those who put their hope in Christ, like this heartbroken family and our family, are counting down the moments as we await the day of resurrection and reunion.
We worship a Savior who knows about the pain and suffering and sacrifice.
In the driveway, another memorial on their vehicle. You can't seem to get enough of these memorial places when you've lost a child.
It says to me, "Please don't forget our beautiful son who gave his life for your freedom."
And we won't.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.