Memorial Day Links

Memorial Day Reminder

Freedom is not free    Cross After Cross

Some gave all for all of us


Video: Just a Common Soldier

He was just a common soldier, and his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us: we may need his like again.

The saga of the four chaplains: "The Dorchester, one of three ships in the SG-19 convoy, was moving steadily across the icy waters from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland.... Hans J. Danielsen, the ship's captain, was concerned and cautious. Earlier the Tampa had detected a submarine with its sonar.... German U-boats were constantly prowling these vital sea lanes, and several ships had already been blasted and sunk....

     "Private William B. Bednar found himself floating in oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. 'I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,' Bednar recalls. 'I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.'...

     "By this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened a storage locker and began distributing life jackets.... When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men. 'It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven,' said John Ladd, another survivor who saw the chaplains' selfless act." See God's love


Facing the Battle (1777): "Soldiers and Countrymen (including General Washington), We have met this evening perhaps for the last time. We have shared the toils of the march, the peril of the fight, and the dismay of the retreat, alike. We have endured the cold and hunger... and the scourge of the foreign oppressor.... And now, soldiers and brethren, we have met in this peaceful valley, on the eve of battle, in the sunlight that to-morrow morn will glimmer on the scenes of blood....God grant that it may not be for the last time....
      "It is a solemn moment!... And in the hour of battle, when all around is darkness, lit by the lurid cannon-glare and the piercing musket-flash, when the wounded strew the ground and the dead litter your path, then remember, soldiers, that God is with you. The eternal God fights for you....
      "And now, brethren and soldiers, I bid you all farewell. Many of us will fall in the battle of tomorrow, and in the memory of all will ever rest and linger the quiet scene of this autumnal eve....

The Soldiers: "...By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours. United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take another flight. They weren't getting many takers. Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this,

"Folks. As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and we're trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more time in an airport then they have to. We sold them all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you're doing, we are here for you and we love you."

At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heart-felt applause. The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.   
      And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight. That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me why we will win this war.

US Veteran Statistics: "[President George Washington said:] 'If we desire peace, it must be known that we are at all times, ready for war.'

     "Since the birth of the United States of American on July 4, 1776, no single generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom by force of arms. More than 42 Million American men and women have served in time of war...more than a MILLION have purchased freedom with their lives."

American Honor: "Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: Those who had given all their tomorrows.... But in a world saturated with selfhood, where every death is by definition a death in vain, the notion of sacrifice today provokes puzzlement more often than admiration....

      "Tillman has become a metaphor for the current conflict -- a victim of fratricide, disillusionment, coverup and possibly conspiracy. By comparison, Dunham, who saved several of his comrades in Iraq by falling on an insurgent's grenade, is the unknown soldier. The New York Times, which featured Abu Ghraib on its front page for 32 consecutive days, put the story of Dunham's Medal of Honor on the third page of section B.... [See The Mainstream Media]

      "Desmond Doss, for instance, was a conscientious objector who entered the army in 1942 and became a medic. Because of his religious convictions and refusal to carry a weapon, the men in his unit intimidated and threatened him, trying to get him to transfer out. He refused and they grudgingly accepted him.

      "Late in 1945 he was with them in Okinawa when they got cut to pieces assaulting a Japanese stronghold. Everyone but Mr. Doss retreated from the rocky plateau where dozens of wounded remained. Under fire, he treated them and then began moving them one by one to a steep escarpment where he roped them down to safety. Each time he succeeded, he prayed, 'Dear God, please let me get just one more man.' By the end of the day, he had single-handedly saved 75 GIs.... 

      "We impoverish ourselves by shunting these heroes and their experiences to the back pages of our national consciousness." (By Peter Collier, Wall Street Journal, 5-26-07)

Bataan 60 years later - Remembering those who served: "John M. Wright... remembered the Army and Navy women nurses, the 'angels' of Bataan and Corregidor [Philippines, World War II], who refused to leave the wounded when ordered out. He also remembered a truckload of 20 badly wounded men who were to be taken to a 'hospital' but instead were driven away and then beheaded....

     "Dick Francies of Cleveland repaired Japanese army radios in prison and subtly sabotaged each one. Malcolm Amos of Afton, Iowa, a medic who nursed the sick and injured at the prison at Cabanatuan, was a large man who returned home weighing 90 pounds....

     "Everett Reamer of Lake Havasu, Ariz., was tortured for 28 straight days after being taken as a slave to Japan; he kept sane by repeating the 23rd Psalm each day. He is still a tough guy. In fact, they are all pretty tough guys.

    "Yet, these men have a collective feeling of being abandoned by their country during the battle in the Philippines.... They have not forgotten that President Franklin Roosevelt, in a radio speech, promised them that help was on the way when it had already been decided that Europe would take first call on men and supplies. They were never told the truth of their situation and they kept fighting until there was nothing left to fight with. As one veteran told me: 'We never surrendered! We were surrendered.' ....There is still such sadness in the voices of these men when they speak of how they were treated as prisoners and slaves." (Eric Sinkkonen, SFC 5/27/02)

Civil War: "The wise and loyal soldier, Sullivan Baloo, was killed at the first battle of Bull Run. Read his last letter home.

More War Letters

Civil War: "At 6:00 A.M. on the 4th of July in 1863, it rained in Gettysburg -- it rained on many of the 27,000 wounded and dying Confederate and Union soldiers. It rained on the thousands of dead yet to be buried. As the day wore on, Lee's shattered army left Gettysburg and Maj. George Rogers Clark Todd, 10th GA Infantry (surgeon in Semmes' Brigade) headed south, leaving behind the battlefield his brother-in-law, Abraham Lincoln, would come to consecrate just 4-1/2 months later."

Persecution: Berit's father, a courageous young leader in the Norwegian resistance (hjemmefronten) during the Nazi occupation (1940-1945), suffered in [Grini] concentration camp but survived by God's grace. Thousands of American troops had participated in the liberation of Norway -- and some gave their lives.

Let us cross the river: "The mix of joy and sorrow, the quick and the dead, the grief and pride, then and now -- it is all as it should be in a free country aware for a moment of the price of freedom. ...

      "Twenty years after D-Day, sitting on the wall of another military cemetery, the one on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, the general who led that invasion thought back to that day ['The men called him Ike']: 'These men came here to storm these beaches for one purpose only, not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest, but just to preserve freedom. Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these, but these young boys were cut off in their prime.'...

      "The faces in the photographs have an innocence and dignity forever preserved, and something else: a loneness. Each stands out. Yet today each is not alone in our memory; they form the real grand army of the republic, rank upon rank, a long gray line stretching back to Gettysburg and Antietam, to Yorktown and Saratoga, as far back as memory....

      "Have a good holiday, Gentle Reader, a restful holiday, and return from the land of memory strengthened and renewed. Nations need rest and remembrance, too, because the battles are far from over." 2 Corinthians 4:7

George Washington's Farewell Address: "Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion...." See Faithful to Him

Note: As we thank God for the faithful soldiers who gave their lives for this country, we can't forget that our freedom is ultimately based on faith in God, His protection and His victories.

Today, as America is rapidly trading His guidelines for pluralism and global solidarity, we face growing corruption and decline. [See God's Warnings for our Times and Deceit, Delusion and the Destruction of America] Please pray with us that the challenges ahead will turn many hearts back to Him in faith and continual thanksgiving for His patience and mercy toward us!

Remembered Forever -:

There's a land that is fairer than day,

And by faith we an see it afar;

For the Father waits over the way,

To prepare us a dwelling place there.

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