TODAYS SCRIPTURE: ISAIAH 2:2 - 5
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not big on history or genealogy. I am big on people who defend this country and the rights of its citizens.
My father was a Private in the Army and served in Infantry Co B 115th Inf Reg. He served in the Rhineland and central Europe and received two Bronze Stars. My father-in-law was a Master Sergeant in the Army and was the Chief Radio Operator over 39 men. Neither died during their military service, but they served proudly.
Both of these men were older when they were called to serve during WW II. My father, who was truck driver, was put into the infantry. We still have not figured that out other than he told a Sergeant he could drive a truck and the Sergeant told him to walk. And walk he did. Dad never talked about the war.
My father-in-law managed a store's hardware department and was an amateur radio operator. The Army put his skills to good use and he taught others. I never met him, but I have often wondered what he would think of the internet. I understand he never talked about his service either.
My brother served in the Army during peace time. Our son-in-law was in the Navy. One nephew was in the Navy and traveled far from Indiana. One nephew is in the National Guard and served in Iraq. My sister, although not military, works at Camp Atterbury and sends soldiers off with a smile and greets them when they return with an even bigger smile.
We have a friend that served in Korea and many who served in Viet Nam. We have a friend who is in the Air Force and friends who are Marines. (Once a Marine, always a Marine.) A Canadian friend served with the US military. There are men in our church who survived the Battle of the Bulge and the landing at Normandy.
I am proud of my family members who have served this country. I am grateful for each and every soldier - old, young and those in-between; male and female; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National Guard - who has defended the United States of America.
It does not matter if we remember on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30 or the day now set as the last Monday in May. What is important is that we remember and, with respect, offer our gratitude. A line, in a 1915 poem, says, "That blood of heroes never dies." That is true. The blood of heroes lives in our freedoms. Always remember.
LET US PRAY
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. Lord I do come to your mountain. I come with prayers of thanksgiving for those who are willing to serve and risk their lives so I may have freedom. I come with gratitude for all who gave their lives to protect the freedoms of the United States of America and the freedoms of other countries and individuals. I do not take for granted my right to pray and worship you. I do not take for granted the freedoms I have today because I know that, without willing soldiers, these freedoms might disappear. I pray for the safety of our soldiers. I pray for the mental and emotional stability of our soldiers. I pray for the families of our soldiers. Also give them the physical, mental and emotional strength they need to stand with their spouse, parent or child who is serving in the military. Lord I do come to your mountain and I will celebrate the day when there are no swords. No spears. No wars. Amen