To all who have risked their lives, laid their lives down, for the sake of the United States of America and our freedom, I say, Thank you. You deserve and receive my deepest respect by your service. I honor you every day even though you may not know that and I especially remember you on Veterans’ Day.
When we went to Arlington National Cemetery this past September to lay my Mama’s ashes to rest with Daddy, I was solemnly reminded of the high cost of war, of all those who have served this nation through the military in one way or another. Everywhere I looked were gravestones, white marble, of those many, many fallen ones who have been buried there from the Civil War forward.
We, as a nation, honor you…
My father served as a Navy doctor in World War II in the Pacific Theater. He continued to serve as a career Naval doctor. He loved the Navy. After the war, he became a part of the peacetime Manhattan Project/Atomic Energy Commission when atomic bombs continued to be tested mostly in the Pacific Ocean and the state of Nevada. He died young, age 46, from pancreatic cancer, in all probability due to the radiation exposure from those tests. Yet, in a letter to his brother, dated July 1, 1946, while at Bikini Island for Operation Crossroads, he wrote how proud he was to be there, to be serving his country in that manner. I imagine that, even as a doctor, if he did have any inkling about the risks and dangers, he would have gone anyway because that was who he was. He was serving his country under an oath he took mighty seriously.
I honor those who served in the Vietnam War that brought so much heartache to this country in the 1960s and 70s. You did not receive the gratitude owed you then. I speak for many who now say thank you. We are sorry for the way we treated you upon your arrival home… to your country… which you were serving. You did not deserve that. I am grateful that this nation has honored you in Washington, D.C., both for the living, for those who died, and for all who did not return from the Vietnam War.
I am blessed to have my husband who served in the Army in the Central Highlands of Vietnam as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He was infantry, in the line of fire. I am ever so grateful that he came home and is married to me. I honor you, Kenneth. I thank you.
For those who did return home from any war zone over all generations and live with the scars of war, we honor you in our hearts and, hopefully, show kindness somewhere along your life’s pathway, saying thank you.
I am grateful for the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, for Merrill Worcester, for he and his company lay the wreaths on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery each December. The project has grown so large that wreaths are laid in Veterans’ Cemeteries in every state across this nation as well as 23 cemeteries overseas where our soldiers are buried.
Their mission is “To Remember, Honor, & Teach about the service and sacrifices of our veterans, active military, and their families. We will Never Forget.”
The history of this is @ http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/about/history/ The website is @ http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:1-3
In the Name of Christ, I pray with gratitude for these special people who have served this nation. I pray for all of those who live this day with the thoughts and memories of war. LORD, please clear their minds and hearts that they focus on You and You alone. LORD, I thank You for the service of so many that have stood for freedom and truth in this land. May you bless each one. LORD, please care for those who need You now, whether they be the soldier, the nurse, the sailor, the family, the young child who has lost a parent, all and each one. Hold them near healing their hearts and minds. I thank You for creating them and for loving each one. Amen.