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A Time to Remember

Jerusalem's Mt Scopus Military Cemetery

On this Memorial Day weekend, have been reminded again of how many of our brothers and sisters in uniform return from active duty to say, “It’s not about the politics of the war.” It’s about protecting the back of the soldiers fighting beside you.

Ironic isn’t it. Even in the hellish insanity of war, what’s important is love, faithfulness, and the priceless value of the person.

Taiwan Guards

War also reminds us that something terrible has happened to us—to think that we would value anything more than the present and eternal well being of our friends or enemies.

Yes, there is a time to heal, and a time to kill. But the price is beyond what any of us were made to endure.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Too see an example of what our soldiers bring home with them, I wish you would check out the current series of videos that we are airing on Day of Discovery called “The War Within.” This story describes the ongoing struggle of two followers of Christ, Army veteran, Mike Wilkins, and Marine veteran, Phil Downer, as they describe their stories and the ongoing horrors of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Photo: Beverly and Pack

May our God help us to honor those of every country who pay the ultimate price in behalf of others—even while we cannot afford the price of war—or its memories…

If there is an upside… it is that what we cannot bear can be used by our God to bring us to Himself…

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16 Responses to “A Time to Remember”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    I remember when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. It has a dual purpose here in our community. We remember all the dead and so decorate all the graves of our loved ones and family that have passed on.

    It is something of a homecoming for many of the people of our community who moved on and away from here to all parts of the world.

    It is an excuse to come back home and put a flower on mother, father or whomever is to be remembered.

    In our little cemetery here we now have 141 veterans buried. All are decorated with a small American flag to honor their service to their country.

    We have errected a monument in our park that names every veteran who ever livied here and the wars in which they served, well over 400 names grace the monument.

    Several have little white crosses beside their names. They gave all they had to give for their country.

    I so often think how ironic it is when I see military graveyards with rows and rows of crosses, in all parts of the world….crosses

    All manner of men who died while trying to kill one another, for the freedom of another.

    Whereas my heart will always be thankful for thoes who sacrificed for my freedoms. It also breaks for the condition of a world where men kill one another, or better said, have to.

    I crave that day when the lion will lay down with the lamb and men will make war no more forever.


  2. jam200 says:

    A big THANK YOU to the past and present members of the United States Military who have given time and talent to support and defend our constitution and these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
    Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Let us remember and never forget. Happy Memorial Day!

  3. saled says:

    This morning, in a ceremony that included songs, a role call, and the playing of taps, 99 cedar wreaths were laid beside the little American flags that decorate the burial sites of veterans in my town. The wreaths were made by members of our local historical society, with the help of 37 children who attend the local school. It’s all very poignant, but the role call is especially so. Four people share the honors of reading the list of names, and sometimes you will hear their voices break as they read a particular name. It’s a small town, and with 99 veterans from the Revolutionary war to the present, we know the stories of each one.

    My Dad is one of those veterans honored today. He was drafted when he turned 18 in 1943. He didn’t volunteer; he didn’t want to go. He wanted to stay right here in Washington County and continue cutting wood, trucking blueberries, and plowing snow. He didn’t know the extent of the horrors happening in Europe, and only answered the call because it was his duty. It became his job to drive trucks hauling temporary bridges that allowed Allied troops to cross the Rhine into Germany in the last months of the war. In 1946 when his time was up, the Army offered him the chance to stay in Georgia and help develop and test heavy equipment. But he chose to come back to Washington County and spend the rest of his life cutting wood, trucking blueberries, and plowing snow.

    The stories of the other 98 veterans in our cemetery are much the same, just common people who wanted a common life, yet answered the call of duty. Some were never blessed as Dad was to be able to return home and continue the life they desired.

  4. xrgarza says:

    saled: Thank you for such an inspiring story.

    Thank you veterans who have so bravely and selflessly protected our Nation.

    God had different plans for me, when I turned 18, I went to register for the draft and I was asked, “What rock have you been hiding under?” Why? I responded

    “Because registration was done away with three days ago.

    Praise God! Don’t get me wrong it would have been an honor to go and protect my nation, not to mention I think that I would also have gained some interesting insights on how to be a more effective warrior during spiritual warfare.


  5. rokdude5 says:

    I still have my draft card from way back from the 70s. My number never came up. Of course, I too, am humbled and grateful to those who did go.

    The church I attend always asked veterans to please stand on these occasions so we can honor them. We, as a church, always pray for those who are still are serving and in addition, I always pray for those who lost a family member or friend due to military conflicts. John 15:13


  6. poohpity says:

    When I think about our military I not only consider their fighting but they also do much social work. Our military hospitals and medical staff help those people in the areas. They give out food to the hungry, toys to the children who may have never had a toy and treat people with respect who may have never felt that. Our military do far more than fight they rebuild infrastructure and in some cases preach the gospel. They serve in a magnitude of areas even as far as just giving someone a hug. All this while having no dry socks or conveniences of home like beds, blankets, normal food, hygiene products and the love and support of family and friends. Their families are left to us to care for while they are gone and we do such a shabby job of it.

    I am forever grateful for their sacrifice which passes any of our understanding that have never been in the military. I can not say enough for the life, limbs, minds, families and souls they have lost for us to sit here in America and complain. My heart and respect are lifted up to the military today and everyday, THANK YOU and that does not even cover what I truly feel for all your efforts and sacrifices.

  7. bubbles says:

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

  8. Regina says:

    Good Morning, Fellow Bloggers,

    I hope all is well in your lives. I’ve been really busy in mine of late. …just the usual cares-of-this-life stuff. God is good.

    Mart, your topic is wonderful (as usual). Thanks for sharing those videos too. Want to comment on your last two sentences:

    “May our God help us to honor those of every country who pay the ultimate price in behalf of others—even while we cannot afford the price of war—or its memories…

    If there is an upside… it is that what we cannot bear can be used by our God to bring us to Himself…”

    When I read these sentences, I began to reflect on wars during Biblical times. I was thinking about Saul, King David, Gideon and Samson. King David had to go to war on countless occasions, and there were times when he lost men to war and times when he didn’t lose one soldier.

    I was wondering if any of David’s men suffered Post Tramatic Stress Disorder? ..if they came back from the bloody battlefield with some of the same issues that our soldiers are facing today. If so, how did they help them?

    As we know, King David prayed a lot. I’m sure he prayed for his men (daily). It reminds me of the importance of praying for our country, our military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines), our government, man-made disasters, natural disasters, and our world.

    Wonder what would happen if every Christian (in the world) prayed for the world, all militaries (global), all governments and global disasters?

    The thought of praying for the entire world brought another thought to my mind. Every nation on earth does not worship God–the true and living God. Some nations think that they are worshipping the God of the Bible, but they’re not.

    I believe that that’s one of the reasons (perhaps the major reason) why they’re not experiencing national blessings.

    King David and his men totally destroyed some cities (& countries?) because they waged war against the Israelites, and they did not fear God.

    I’m up early this morning. Have discovered that this is such a good time to pray. :-)


  9. SFDBWV says:

    Regina, I too found long ago the uniqueness of morning prayers.

    There is something special about being alone with God as the day breaks and all of of life awakens around us.

    As I look at the news each morning it is too evident that war is a way of life nearly in every part of the world.

    If we look at history we see that men have been killing each other since Caine slew Abel.

    Yes God sent the chosen people into a land already occupied and told them to take it by force.

    Peoples of history have been doing so for as long as history has been recorded.

    No society anywhere existed without the soldier making it possible to.

    We here in america honor our war dead as a special holiday, which began after our bloody and tragic Civil War.

    We can sleep safe tonight because someone else is put in harms way to protect our way of life. They are ready to do harm to another for us to enjoy a peaceful life.

    They are ready to sacrifice all of their freedoms and even their own life for we their fellow countrymen.

    They deserve our thanks and certainly our respect.

    We American are made up of people from all over the globe, being American is our sense of nationality. Our flag is a symbol and representation of who we are and where we have been.

    So we honor our fallen heros as well as thoes who have served and are serving, with the colors our colors. The Stars and Stripes, the Red White and Blue.

    When we salute the flag or stand with hand on heart as it passes by, it isn’t anything less than for all of us, all the veterans all thoes who sacrifice at home all of us each and every one of us, that we show respect for.

    Indeed in God we trust, to bless us as a people, to guide us and protect us.


  10. poohpity says:

    As I reread your post this morning I found it interesting that you said, “It’s about protecting the back of the soldiers fighting beside you”. I would love to feel that way about my Christian brothers and sisters. That would bring so much peace to each of us to know that someone has your back as the soldiers do to each other. I bet the Lord’s face would just shine with joy over that.

  11. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Thanks, Mart for those insightful thoughts and for that perspective on war.

  12. Regina says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Steve, and all who’ve shared in this blog topic. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the comments.


  13. SFDBWV says:

    On the tomb of the unknown soldier it says “Known but to God”.

    While I think about the unknown who died or suffered for others. My mind takes a full journey through history and perhaps even today, away from the spotlight.

    Somewhere there is always someone who does the right thing at the right time, that leads to the life of another, at perhaps the cost of their own.

    Known to no one except God.

    How many untold stories are there of people who in their last moments sacrificed all they had in order to save another, or many others. While no one knew anything of it….except God.

    How often do we do the right thing with no one to notice?….Except God

    Hope all have a good day today.


  14. SFDBWV says:

    The word *Berserk* I have read had it’s origins from the style of fighting the Norse warriors demonstrated in battle.

    From my own experiance, a person has to go a little or a lot *berserk* in the business of warfare.

    We have *evolved* from the hand to hand combat activities of ancient warfare to a more distant killing techneque. Though sometimes it still has to be done man to man.

    During WWI the word for the stress of warfare was called *shell shock*, during WWII it was called *battle fatigue*. Since Viet Nam we now use the term Post tramatic stress. The aspect of post meaning that repressed stress comes out in other forms at a later time.

    If you were ever in war, or in a stressful situation, being a little *crazy* helps to cope.

    There is also the stress of another war. The war within us all over the conflict of our soul and the battle of good over evil.

    Staying on the straight and narrow road is a battle that will also cause fatigue and stress…..

    How it effects us and our reactions are, shows who we really are.


  15. xrgarza says:

    I find it interesting that Our Daily Bread this morning goes hand in hand with this topic. I’m thinking we should be doing what King Hezekiah did, and for the same reasons.

    It was then that Hezekiah turned to the Lord. He prayed, “YOU ARE GOD, YOU ALONE, OF ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH…. SAVE US FROM HIS HAND, THAT ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE LORD GOD, YOU ALONE” (19:15-19). When Hezekiah prayed, God answered him in a remarkable way and delivered him from his enemies (vv.35-37).


  16. poohpity says:

    ASAP— Always Say A Prayer!! I bet that would stop at lot of battles within and on the outside. Amen, Rocky!!

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