Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Veterans’ Day Reminder

In early October in Danube, Minnesota, The American Legion presented eleven World War II Veterans with their World War II Medallions. The medallions were given in conjunction with the unveiling of the Minnesota World War II Memorial in St. Paul earlier in the year. For those who could not go to the ceremony in St. Paul, the Danube Legion presented the veterans’ medallions that day.

In the group was a former POW of Germans; another man who went in on D-Day who also fought in North Africa, at Anzio in Italy and survived the Battle of the Bulge. We were in the presence of heroes but you wouldn’t know it. There was no chest pounding bravado; no stories told of great exploits. The afternoon was an afternoon of subdued respect and reflection.

One of the veterans commented, “I wonder if those Frenchmen and Germans remember what we did over there?”

In the 1960’s Charles de Gaulle, President of France, wanted all American soldiers off French soil. Then President John Kennedy sent Secretary of State Dean Rusk to France to talk to de Gaulle. Rusk asked de Gaulle if his request to have all American soldiers off French soil included those buried at Normandy. De Gaulle said nothing. Rusk returned to Washington, D.C.

We have a long relationship with the country of France. In the Revolutionary War against Great Britain, the French supported us when we fought for our freedom. We owe them. Have we forgotten their sacrifice? Have they forgotten America’s sacrifice in World War I and World War II?

Yesterday, November 7th, French President Sarkozy addressed a joint session of Congress. In part, this is what he said: “The United States and France remain true to the memory of their common history. Our duty is to remain true to the blood spilled by our children on both sides of the Atlantic in common battles. France will never forget the sacrifice of your children.” (Referring to the arrival of American troops on the beaches of Normandy to liberate the French from the Nazi occupation in World War II.) "At a time when my country had reached the final limits of its strengths, the time when France was exhausted, had spent its strength in the most absurd and bloodiest of wars, France was able to count upon the courage of American soldiers and I have come to say to you on behalf of the French people that never, never will we forget that.”

The French have not forgotten; neither should we. To be free, a price needs to be paid. In a political sense, “our children”, as Sarkozy said, shed the blood.

It’s good to be reminded that in the political realm, a price has been paid and we must call on men to continue to pay the price of freedom with vigilance and yes, even personal sacrifice.

To be free spiritually, blood needed to be shed. In the spiritual realm, God shed the blood in the person of His one and only Son Jesus Christ. Have you accepted His gift of ultimate freedom?

In the spiritual sense, the price has been paid; the work is already done. Jesus paid the complete pardon for our sin thus we are free, yes free, indeed.

Remember on this Veterans’ Day, if you are a believer, you are free indeed. Free indeed. We are blessed. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yesterday at church there was no mention of veterans day. I guess men with no courage will not mention those who have courage