Behind the song, "There Are No Words"
“On Saturday, April 24, 2004, I sang at a Memorial Service for Lance Cpl. Phillip E. Frank, a 20 year old Marine, who was killed in action in Iraq, on April 8, during hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province. We hear about the loss of life each day, but Phillip was the son of my friends, Roy and Georgette Frank. When it hits home, the loss seems greater and more personal. My heart goes out to my friends, but also to all of the families who have lost loved ones in the war. When Phillip witnessed the tragic disaster of 9/11, he decided to commit his life to the military, and serve his country. The first words his mother said to me, when I called her about Phil’s Memorial Service, were: “Nancy, there are no words…”. Neither Georgette nor I, could find the words to say, at such a difficult time. Her words touched my heart very deeply. I wrote a song for the family for the service, called, "There Are No Words." Please pray for the family.”
Since Phillip's death, Roy and Georgette have set up a non-profit organization, in his memory, called, The Heart Of A Marine Foundation:
The Heart Of A Marine Foundation provides comfort, support, financial assistance, and additional resources to improve the quality of life of military personnel in ALL BRANCHES of the United States Armed Forces, including Veterans and their families. www.heartofamarine.org
A Different Memorial Day
"Today was a different Memorial Day. In past years, I knew the meaning of this holiday, and yet, whatever came my way, that is how I spent the day. One year I may have sung at a Memorial Day ceremony or event. Another year, I may have gone shopping, or went swimming.
On this day, May 31, 2004, I was invited to attend a special Memorial Day ceremony in Cliffwood Beach, honoring US Marine Lance Cpl. Phillip E. Frank. All who served, and are currently serving our country, were also honored. My friends, Roy and Georgette Frank, are the proud parents of their fallen son, Phillip Frank, who died in action in Iraq, on April 8, 2004. I had the honor and privilege to sing at Phillip's Memorial service, which was held at St. John's United Methodist Church, in Keyport, NJ, last month, a few weeks after his death.
Today, standing in a mist of rain, my eyes began to swell with tears, as the tribute to Phillip Frank began. Guests and speakers honored him with love and respect. One woman sang a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace. There was not a dry eye among us.
What struck me, in the silent reverence of this moment, was the thought, that this IS America!!! In this small town, Americans gathered to remember Phillip and all who have given their lives for our freedom. We cried...we prayed...we were silent ... and remembered our loved ones. Words like "courage," "duty," "honor," "love," "country," and "service," filled the air like sweet perfume. We honored our country, our fallen heroes, our liberty, and our freedom. What a blessing to be in a country where we are truly free! And our freedom gives us a choice, even on Memorial Day - - the freedom to choose whether we celebrate this freedom, or to choose to just enjoy the day off, to go shopping, attend a barbecue, or enjoy other activities. There is nothing wrong with any of our activities, of course!! But for me, today was a different Memorial Day. It taught me to stop and remember those men and women who have volunteered, sacrificed their lives willingly, and with courage, so that I can be free, and live in the United States of America, with this precious freedom.
Thank you for reading my story today. May we always remember Phillip Frank, and all of our fallen heroes. May we never forget their ultimate sacrifice - - that they laid down their lives, so that we may be free. May our prayers never cease for our armed forces, and their families. "
Happy Memorial Day!
These E mails were sent to me, in response to my story entitled, "A Different Memorial Day".
Thank you, Nancy for that inspiring message. Yes, I do agree we should HONOR those who have given their lives and those who are now in Harms way. We had a very sobering Memorial Service here in The Villages in Florida at our own Veterans Memorial park. There were more people there then I have ever seen at any other service. Although there were many there like myself who have served in the Armed Services, many were there because they respect and honor those who lost their lives defending our right to FREEDOM. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!!
Love and Prayers,
Thank you for sharing your Memorial Day experience with me. There are so many organizations out there who are trying to take our heritage away from us, and we must keep on standing on the promises of God.
Since World War 11, remembering our fallen heroes and praying for our country has been a very important issue in my life. That is why I write all those letters to the Senators, the President and Congressmen to keep our Christian heritage alive.
Thank you for that story. I do pray for our men and women fighting to keep us safe. God Bless the family of your fallen friend. God Bless You for the wonderful work you do.
Peg Dotson-Florence U. M. Church
THANK YOU NANCY FOR SHARING YOUR MEMORIAL DAY STORY WITH ME AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THERE WAS NOT A DRY EYE ANYWHERE. I ALSO FEEL PRIVILEGED TO LIVE IN THE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN WHERE I CHERISH THE FREEDOM WE HAVE AND THANK OUR TROOPS EVERYDAY FOR ALLOWING THIS FREEDOM TO CONTINUE. I FEEL FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE WHO HAS LOST A LOVED ONE, WHETHER A FATHER, MOTHER, SON, BROTHER OR SISTER OR FAMILY MEMBER OR JUST A DEAR FRIEND. I CONTINUE TO PRAY EVERYDAY FOR ALL OUR TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES. BY BEING WITH THE FRANK FAMILY TODAY GAVE THEM STRENGTH AND COURAGE AND SUPPORT THAT THEY ALL NEED. I THANK YOU PHILIP FOR BEING SO BRAVE SO WE CAN BE FREE. MAY YOUR SOUL NOW REST IN THE PEACE WITH THE LORD.
THANKS AGAIN NANCY AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOU DO.
Your E-mail was so thoughtful and beautiful. It reminded me of the article in today's Asbury Park Press, interviewing different people about how they will spend today. Some said they will use it as a day off, others will remember the service people, etc. But, even some of those who said they would spend it at the beach, or whatever, said that they wouldn't be able to have the freedom to do that if others hadn't fought for our freedom and we should remember that (not in so many words but the general idea). It must have been very touching to be there at Cpl. Frank's memorial service. When you know someone who has given his life, and know his family, it has to affect you. Thanks for sharing your experience today so that we will be more aware of the sacrifices made for us every day (and over many years). To be truthful, many years I didn't give it as much thought as I do now and I feel bad about that. I've taken my freedom for granted. I have to be more appreciative. Thanks for reminding me.
Take care. Talk to you soon.
I'm sure you don't usually take time to read the Sunday comics - but see if you can find a copy of this week's Doonesbury. It is a listing current to nearly the end of April of those who have given their lives in Iraq. Phillip Frank appears in the last frame at the end of line 4 or 5 right next to what appears to be an olive branch leaf.
Thanks for letting me share your day.
What a moving story - it really is what Memorial Day is all about. We have a great country and it is made so by the brave few such as your friends' son. Thank you for sharing.
That was so beautiful and I heartily agree with all your thoughts. You are a special person!
Love, Ruth and Otto
Your letter was a true statement and beautifully written. I hope we can keep that feeling on Memorial Day and the rest of the days of the year.
Thanks for sending it to me.
Thank you so much for sharing yourself. You continue to inspire all around you. Philip was a hero fighting the war in Iraq, you are a hero sharing love on the planet.
God bless your ministry.
Thanks for your thoughts on this day. I was one of those who didn't go and celebrate. I was on the golfcourse with my league. Believe it or not I expressed gratitude to a number of guy's today, two were my partners today, W.W.II vets. It is always fun being with those guys.
I hope that our Nation today will catch our president's vision of the future and realize what will happen if we don't fight terrorism with the same gusto our Vets fought W.W.II. We are living in scary times and I'm afraid we must fight as we are or even more strongly.
So much for now. Lots of love from Sally and me....oldrev
Amen…. Thanks for sharing.
My father retired from army intelligence, so your email was especially meaningful to me. Thanks for sharing it!
Nancy, that was beautiful. I'm going to pass that on!!!
Nancy - thank you very much for sharing your Memorial Day story! All I could say was my Email to you (woe is me for whining of being sick!) paled in comparison.
The Franks were such an incredible example of being filled with God's love. Here I was feeling so very sad for them and yet they were there shaking hands and smiling! A very powerful message that despite such grief, those who believe are filled with the Spirit. And while I thought I might not make it through your song, I did! I reminded myself from where it was coming and it was happy thoughts, not sad ones.
Both Tom and I were very glad to have been in church and were filled with good feelings.
Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you had a rewarding day too.