Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Out of all the holidays we celebrate as a nation, I find Veteran's Day to be up at the top of my list. Memorial Day would probably have to be tied with it. These are two days out of the year that we truly honor and remember our heroes of wars present and past. It was announced on the news today that there are still a few (it may actually be only one or two) surviving veterans of World War I. Can you imagine the things they have seen? They witnessed the first world war when everyone thought the world would end, only to witness a second world war, when again, everyone thought the world would end. (Matthew 24:6) Since then, numerous other wars have been fought. I have had the great privilege of knowing several World War II veterans. Each has a different story to tell. And slowly, members of this generation are "fading." My dad preached the funeral of two gentlemen this past week, both of whom we discovered later were serving in the India/China/Pacific region of World War II at the same time. He quoted General Douglas McArthur in his farewell address to Congress after returning from the war:

"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

We owe a tremendous amount to our soldiers, past and present. Our nation would not be what it is without their faithful, selfless service. We owe the very protection of our freedoms to each and every one.

I was touched today by the post on msnbc.com's Field Notes:

You can find stories here that won't make the headline news, but are most certainly worthy of reading. This post highlights the sentinels that guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetary. If you have ever been and watched the changing of the guard, it is an experience you will never forget. But, reading this article I learned some new things about the guard. For example, everything is done by 21 (21 steps, 21 second pause, etc.), because 21 is a perfect number in the military. Each sentinel also spends an additional 4-6 hours simply shining his shoes for the next day's 2 hour shift. They stand by perfection. And they honor those who lost their lives in the call of duty, and were simply labeled "MIA", because their remains were never found.

So, although late in the day, remember the veterans you know, and those you don't. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for their service. And honor them not only today, but every day.


strem said...

I appreciated this post very much. My grandad was a WWII veteran, and I loved hearing his stories of the experiences he had in the service. I'm also thankful that I work with several veterans... and that I have a boss that sent out a note to our employees today to ask them to pray for our veterans who have defended us so courageously. It's a great day to be thankful!

Dani said...

Granddaddy doesn't talk about his time in "the service" as he always says, but I do love hearing the stories that Bro. Charles tells.

I'm honored that we have so many willing to sacrifice all for us.