A few weeks ago, a Civil War soldier’s remains were found at the site of the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. Although those who reburied him knew neither his name nor even which side he fought on, they honored him with a horse-drawn carriage draped with both Confederate and Union Flags and a proper burial.
This little story caused me to stop and remember…remember the sacrifice that thousands of men and women have made on behalf of our country. I am so glad that once a year we set aside November 11th as Veteran’s Day.
This day of honor started as a celebration of the end of World War I (Armistice Day), but it became a national day in which to honor all veterans in 1954. Memorial Day focuses esteem and appreciation for those who have died for our country. But Veterans Day is meant to honor everyone who has worn our military uniform. It is a day set aside so our entire citizenry will pause and show appreciation for the sacrifices made by our veterans. It also affords us an opportunity to foster a love of country and a willingness to serve others.
Although the Biblical record does not highlight veterans in the same way we do today, there are a number of passages that underscore the need to honor those who do battle for the common good. Three times in II Samuel 1, David esteems those who died in defense of Israel, as he laments, “How the mighty have fallen in battle.” And in II Samuel 23, in the context of David’s last words, he details for us the achievements of his “mighty men”. He carefully outlines the exploits of these men who were veterans of the various wars between Israel and the Philistines. He honors them by rehearsing their stories.
This week would be a great time for you and me to honor a veteran as well. We can start within our own families. My Dad is a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He deserves my respect and I will be sure to honor him especially this week. How about your family? Is there a veteran that needs to hear words of appreciation and respect from you? Are there some stories that you need to rehearse for your children?
And look around…there might be a soldier, airman, sailor or marine who lives on your block. He or she might not be “old and grey”, but his/her service should be recognized. The veterans of the Gulf War or the wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan need to hear appreciation from us as well.
And then there are those still in the service. These men and women volunteer to serve on our behalf. They stand in a gap with us in mind!
We need to honor them with notes, small gifts, phone cards, videos, candy and the like. Maybe we could all hook up with an organization that honors local military units. I live in Laguna Niguel and as a city; we sponsor a marine unit and a navy ship. I can get involved at several levels just within my own town. Maybe you could too!
However you choose to do it, please find a Veteran this week and give them a heartfelt thank you. They deserve it!
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools