Memorial Day 2018: Remember, Honor, Give Thanks, and Recommit to the Holy Cause of Liberty
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Today is a day to remember and honor our fallen, and all who served. Even as we come together in precious fellowship with friends and family, we must keep in the forefront of our mind the long, unbroken line of warriors going back to Lexington Green who took the risks, bore the hardships, and, for all too many, gave their all. Today, let us also give thanks to the God of hosts for delivering this nation not once, not twice, but many, many times from the jaws of defeat in desperate hours of darkness throughout our history, and let us give thanks and honor to the often unknown soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who, with his buddies, turned the tide of battle.
A Marine on Iwo Jima.
“GRUNT – “Term of affection used to denote that filthy, sweaty, dirt-encrusted, footsore, camouflage-painted, tired, sleepy beautiful little son of a bitch who has kept the wolf away from the door for over two hundred years.” – H.G. Duncan
Hat’s off to our brothers (including those from another Mother), our uncles, our fathers, our Grandfathers, and Great-Grandfathers who stood in that unbroken line in defense of this nation. All gave some, some gave all. Below is General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s address to the troops on the eve of the D-day invasion – a fitting tribute, and reminder, of what is still at stake:
Let us recommit ourselves to “the Great Crusade,” to what Patrick Henry called “the holy cause of liberty.” That fight goes on, and it is now our watch. We now stand in the gap, in the trenches, in the eternal struggle between good and evil, between freedom and oppression, between liberty and tyranny. I know many of you have served your nation and the broader cause of human liberty for many years, and, like me, you may have at times grown weary, worn down by what feels like an eternally uphill struggle, and at other times discouraged and on the brink of despair. Let us take heart, and never forget that this is not merely a physical struggle, or even merely a psychological struggle. It is a spiritual war:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6:12-13. (full quote in 6:11-18)
That spiritual war between good and evil goes on inside each one of us, and it goes on within our families, within our neighborhoods, our churches, our towns, our states, our nation, and across the globe. And despair is the Enemy’s greatest weapon.
Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Therefore, do not despair! Remember the immortal words of Patrick Henry:
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech, March 23, 1775.
Let today be more than a day of remembrance and honor. Let it be also a day of personal renewal, re-dedication, and re-commitment of ourselves to do our duty in this holy cause of human liberty. What matters most is what we – each of us – does from this moment on. Just like all the countless grunts of the past, we each must do our duty to the utmost extent of our power and ability, leaving the outcome in God’s hands. Duty is ours. Results are God’s. Let us fear not, and let us be bold as lions.
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing. But the righteous are as bold as a Lion. Proverbs 28:1
The torch has been passed to us. However weary we may feel, however we may have stumbled or even fallen, let us remember that our trials and tribulations are nothing compared to what others had to bear, and let us get back up on our feet, dust ourselves off, stand up tall, shoulder our rucks, drink water and drive on with a grim grunt smile on our faces.
As retired Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink put it:
Live a life that honors the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.
Remember them always. And make every day… Memorial Day.
Jocko’s Memorial Day message is magnificent. Below are the opening lines, but I encourage you to read the whole thing. God bless you all, and God bless America. – Stewart Rhodes, Memorial Day 2018
Former SEAL Jocko Willink: Remember the warriors who made the supreme sacrifice — Don’t waste your time on Earth
FILE — Army Col. Matthew Rasmussen, of the Army Military District of Washington, wipes tears from his eyes while visiting the grave of Army Staff Sgt. Richard Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
I am the fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine.
I am the one that held the line.
Sometimes I volunteered. Sometimes I went because I was told to go.
But when the nation called – I answered.
In order to serve, I left behind the family, friends, and freedom that so many take for granted.
Over time, I used different weapons: a sword, a musket, a bayonet, a rifle, a machine gun.
Often, I marched into battle on foot – countless miles – across whole continents. I had little water and even less food. But it did not matter. We had a job to do.
Other times, I rode to battle on horseback or in wagons; sometimes on trains; later in tanks or Jeeps or Humvees.
In early wars, my ships were made of wood and powered by the wind.
Later they were made of steel and powered by diesel fuel or the atom.
I even took to the air and mastered the sky in planes, helicopters, and jets.
The machines of war evolved and changed with the times.
But remember that it was always me – the warrior – that had to fight our nation’s enemies.