Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Yet you risked everything here. Why? We look at you and somehow we know the answer.
It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love…
You all knew that some things are worth dying for.”
President Ronald Reagan—June 6, 1984 in Normandy, France
On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of D-Day
The air is quiet this morning, reflected in the softly hanging folds of our American Flag now posted on our home—almost waiting for something special to occur. As a nation, our thanks will be expressed this Saturday, November 11, when we will pause to honor those who have served to defend our country in the Armed Forces of the United States of America—our veterans.
I wonder if our expression of thanks to them should be offered every day.
It wasn’t until a dinner one evening about ten years after my discharge from the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, that I remember hearing the words “thank you.” Instead, up until that moment, those who had served during that time were often made to feel less than appreciated and were often ridiculed for their service.
At the conclusion of his remarks, the speaker that evening—himself a retired and wounded Marine—asked all the veterans to stand and be recognized. He began first with WW I, then WW II, then the Korean War, and, finally with the last war at that time, the Vietnam War.
As I slowly stood, with Lynda looking proudly up at me, the tears began to stream down my face from the memories of so many others now gone who served with honor during that time, and endured the pain and criticism by so many around us who disagreed with the war and ridiculed and disrespected those who answered their call to duty during that time.
I stood. And it was the first time I had been asked to stand for such a moment of appreciation.
It was a defining moment for me—a moment long overdue—recognizing that so many of us wore a sacred label from within the annals of American history—
We are at the juncture of yet another defining moment in the journey of our nation. A moment where we still honor our veterans, while the very foundations of who we are as a nation are being challenged. A moment where attempts are being made to strip those foundations away—the very foundations our veterans stood in the gap to preserve.
And those attempts are coming from many quarters. In some areas of our professional sports world there are those who blur the lines between free speech and displaying a moment of respect toward those who secured their very right to free speech. But the saddest are the lack of leadership in those areas of sports, education and even by those who represent us in our governments. Many of those elected officials who have and continue to serve us, do so while ignoring the very foundations, values, and pillars of freedom of this great nation, established under the leadership of God. Foundations and values which those veterans stood in the gap for, and uphold today with their lives—all for you and for me, and even for those who would try to strip them away.
Recent polls would suggest that the vast majority of Americans understand and hold dear the important foundations of our nation, and that God is, and has always been, an essential cornerstone of those foundations. And, it seems that we are finally standing up again, in almost all arenas, being energized to give loud voice to those long-held beliefs. That would be a good and important moment for our nation.
The foundations of this great nation are rooted in the eternal concepts of liberty, freedom, a government of the people, and a firm reliance on God. The veterans we honor this week knew that when they stepped forward and raised their hands and said “send me.”
And not only must we always remember—but we must never forget—what they did for us.
Our respect for them must never waiver as we always stand to respect those who stood in the gap for us—those who are still able to stand, those who no longer can, and those whose bodies now lay beneath row-after-row of crosses the world over.
May God continue to bless all those veterans who stood, and who stand, in the gap for us and for this great nation, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
In His Name—Scott