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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: Faded Glory
By Elizabeth Cain


Home at last. I’d spent nearly two and a half years fighting in Iran, and now at last I was home. I’d been blessed to make it home alive, but many of my friends had not been so fortunate. Death is often a result of war. War is often the necessary route to freedom. I looked up and out the window at the American flag hanging in my yard. The flag, its color fading, swayed elegantly in the gentle breeze. She stood for so much in this country and she’d come at a high price. But in order to keep her, more sacrifices were required. Words started to piece themselves together in my head, my hands raced to get it all down.


I read my manuscript again. What was missing? I didn’t find any more grammatical errors, but I still crossed things out, rewrote a sentence or two, and tossed in another paragraph. I’d spent months writing a story based off my friends’ and my experiences, and now many weeks editing it. I wanted to honor those brave enough to fight for freedom. Freedom had a high price, but the rewards were worth it. And if Freedom was lost, the one’s who’d sacrificed would have died in vain. My wife read it and was in awe by the end. She told me there was nothing left to fix. I, however, was not satisfied with it. I am somewhat of a perfectionist, though I doubt I’m the only writer who has rewritten each sentence four times over. I just had a feeling that something was missing.

I stood and, using a cane to help my weaker leg, limped over to my dresser where my medals were kept. I’d won a good number of badges and ribbons, but none meant as much to me as the piece of paper lying to the right of my Purple Heart. The paper had been cut into a shape resembling an award ribbon, and had been colored with blue and yellow crayons. I called the handcrafted award my Hero Badge. It was a little wrinkled, but was still my most treasured prize. As I stroked my paper badge, a smile came over my face. Written in the center of my Hero Badge, in sloppy red letters, was, ‘Daddy, a hero for the land we call free.’ Amanda, my eldest daughter, had made it as a Father’s Day present. I’d gone to war that year, so she had to mail it to me. I rummaged through my wallet ‘till at last I found her letter.

“Dear Daddy,
Happy Father’s Day. I miss you very much. I am being a gud girl for Mom, and only fight with Eli when he starts it. Mom says you are far away bekuz you are fighting for our freedum. I don’t now whut she means but I am glad you’re doing it for us. Me, Mom, and Eli pray for you lots. At church I lerned God wants us to gloryfy Him in all we do. I try to do everything for God’s glory, but it is hard when Eli braks Barbie’s head off. Plese come home soon. I luv you very very much.

Luv Amanda

I still smile every time I read her messy writing. The yellowed paper is torn in a few places, and the pencil lines are fading. She’d been six when she’d written it, and now she’s about to go off to college. But time only makes me treasure her words all the more. As I replay her words in my mind, I remember the chorus of my favorite song, ‘Glory to God’. I murmur part of the chorus, “Take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory…”

My book, though I was sure it was well written, was done for my glory, not God’s. I grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled, “May I not seek no glory for myself, but for Him that all glory is due. And may this goal to glorify Him never fade from my life.” I whispered a quick prayer to God, asking Him to use my book for His glory, and not mine. With renewed vigor, I went back through my manuscript.
I added a sentence here, and took out a sentence there. Soon I’d told the whole story about God’s guidance over my life, the life of my friends, and my nation. Finally, I was satisfied with my book.

(This story is fictional)

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This article has been read 335 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/04/10
This was such a touching story! And I was convinced the author was real until I read the disclaimer, so great job making your character come to life. What a sweet story.
Mildred Sheldon06/06/10
If it had not been for the disclaimer at the end I would have thought the MC was real. Beautifully written and very touching. Good job and God bless.
Nancy Sullivan 06/07/10
You've written a wonderful story to honor the military and their families. Great job.
Jan Ackerson 06/08/10
Stories like this really tug at the heart.

It seems to me that this is more about a writer than an editor--and watch your use of apostrophes (not needed in one's). The disclaimer wasn't necessary, and left me with a bit of a thud.

The MC's little medal from his daughter was so sweet--what a wonderful little detail.
Susan Montaperto06/08/10
I thought this a true story, when I began reading it. It seemed so real all the details, especially the young daughter's letter and the Hero Ribbon. Thank you for a story that honors our Veterans and Active Military Service Personnel. Keep Writing.