Remembering Our Finest

While visiting my in-laws this afternoon we went for a walk, and passed a house of their neighbor that had recently moved in.  On each side of the garage door was an American Flag and the US Marine flag, and centered above the garage door was the photo of a handsome young marine.  There was also a star hanging in the window.  The man who was obviously the dad was sitting on the porch, so we decided to stop and introduce ourselves to him.  After making some small talk, the subject turned to the marine in the photo, his son.  He told us that he was 20 years old when he was killed in Iraq in 2006, and that Memorial Day was especially hard on him as a father.  His breath smelled like alcohol and his face was filled with grief.

Looking at the photo I couldn’t forget how in defending our country it seems the finest of our young men are sacrificed; men with their whole lives ahead of them but choose willingly to serve.  These are not half-wits who fell for some manipulitive talk from a recruiter because they had no other options; these young men are filled with purpose and knew exactly what they were getting into, and while on leave yearn to be back with their unit because they believe in their mission of defending this country and liberty they love.  The dad told us his son had passed up a scholarship to join the marines.

This liberty that is continually purchased for us at a terribly great a price should not be ungratefully squandered on immoral and ungodly pursuits; no, our appreciation to these men and women who sacrificed and their families should be to use this precious liberty to  build up, to raise a God-fearing generation, and to show the world our goodness and character in the face of moral darkness and societal decay. 

Before leaving we asked the man if we could pray with him; he seemed surprised, but willingly held hands with us as we thanked God for men like his son that willingly sacrifieced himself for us, and that God would comfort and console the grieving father.  I know God listened because he too sacrificed His Son so that we would be free from sin and death.  My prayer is that we would make the best uses of both of these sacrifices.

 

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