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As Hurricane Irene took aim on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I flashed back to an old white frame building there. And to the story I heard there that has followed me ever since.
Our family vacation took us to those beautiful Hatteras beaches and to the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station. That's where I heard about, and saw demonstrated by re-enactors, the heroism of the United States Life-Saving Service.
They call that stretch of shoreline the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." Hundreds of ships have gone down there, victims of that Cape's violent storms; it's treacherous shoals. But many who would have been buried in that "graveyard" made it out alive. Those people survived, because of the men of the Life-Saving Service. They call them the "surf men." They risk their lives again and again, heading into deadly storms in these little boats, to do whatever it took to save the people on a sinking ship.
The motto of the Life-Saving Service is tattooed on my soul: "You have to go out. You don't have to come back."
We have to go out. We don't have to come back.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.