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Jeff's Afghan Diary: Remembering the Dead
October 31, 2007

      Thomas Patrick McGee, killed outside Waza Khwa by an improvised roadside bomb last summer, has been honored by having the Waza Khwa Dining Facility named after him.  It’s a small tribute, one of many similarly named places in this country named after Soldiers who died in the line of duty, but this one is different for me: I knew Sergeant McGee, and therefore I carry his memory inside me as well.  Tomorrow is All Saint’s Day, and for me, Sergeant McGee deserves to be considered one of them.

      Tonight is All Hallowed’s Eve, known in our country as Halloween.  My girls will be trick-or-treating tonight with friends, and my son will pass out candy to the neighborhood kids stopping by.  In years past, I would take our youngest daughter out trick-or-treating, but this year the duty falls to my wife.  I hope next year my daughter will still want to go trick-or-treating with me, but I suspect she’ll be too old to want to go out with her father.

      There are lots of Halloween traditions in America, but not many All Saint’s Day traditions, outside perhaps the Roman Catholic Church that started the tradition (I’m not sure even Catholics in America have many traditions any more regarding All Saint’s Day).  Our church back home uses the last Sunday in October as an All Saint’s Day celebration, remembering those who have passed away during the year.  Unfortunately, this year there have been several beloved members of our church that are no longer with us, who were remembered last Sunday back home.

      As my church family remembers friends of mine who have passed away back home, I take a moment to remember Thomas Patrick McGee passing away here in Afghanistan.  May his memory serve as a reminder to us all that service to our country is more than just a phrase, and that the ideals and values of our country are sometimes purchased at a costly price.

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Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.