Friday, May 22, 2015
Honoring The Preservers of Liberty
Some time ago, I was re-watching the movie "Midway."
Six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they were trying to set a trap
for the US Navy and destroy it. The American commanders actually set a trap of
their own and the highly outnumbered US forces won a decisive victory. I am always
humbled by the selfless and heroic efforts made by the World War II generation.
They sacrificed their lives for something they believed was bigger than them. They
knew the value of family; the power of God; and that life and liberty was foundational
to being an American, and it was worth fighting for. They were defined by their courage
and character, their dedication to what was right and good.
For me, Memorial Day was always a solemn day first, and a day of great celebration
second. Growing up, our 4-H horse club always participated in the Memorial Day Parade
that wound through Rootstown, Ohio and ended up at the cemetery. There, we faced the
graves of those who served their country, many who died that we might live free. Our
horses were to stand at attention, and we were to sit on them, also at attention, our hats
removed, as the speakers honored America's finest. Afterwards, we would load up the
horses and head back to the farm, where we had a cookout, usually with Warren and
Sue McCarthy, Gene and Betty Flynn, Bob and Doris Harris and their families.
Warren and Gene served on D-Day. They survived it. And they were decorated war heroes.
Not much of what they did was ever discussed. But you somehow knew that they were
special. My dad, who was a farmer during the war, was best friends with these men. He
knew what went on, but would never say. They were among the finest men I knew growing
up. My uncle Bob Harris served in the Philippines. There were times when he had flashbacks.
My dad would get a call from my aunt and he would find Uncle Bob, talk him down and hold
him until the terror passed. He, too, was a decorated hero. All these men knew the price of
freedom and they understood their civic duty to their families, their God and their country.
I'm sure you have stories as well about the brave men and women who served in our nation's
armed forces. President Ronald Reagan remembered veterans in his speech May 26, 1986.
He said, "If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace,
we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace.
We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to
protect it where it does."
To me, there will never be peace on earth until the Lord returns.
Jesus said, however, in Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called
the children of God."
Many have sacrificed themselves that we may have peace and freedom.
Let us honor their deeds.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!