“The Heroes We Remember” - Sunday, September 21, 2014
Every veteran has a story. Some spent their military service in the line of fire; others gave their service behind the scenes. Some carried weapons; some carried a medical bag. Whether on the ground, in the air, or on the water, all who willingly respond to the call to serve their country see it as a high and holy calling to protect, safeguard, and strengthen the land they love.
Former United States President George W. Bush observed: “We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation’s uniform.”1
Every generation has the opportunity to be as great as the one that preceded it. We measure the value of a veteran’s service not by the length or the location of the conflict but by the heart and character of the soldiers. Every time brave soldiers respond to the call of duty, they have the opportunity to leave a legacy of honor for those who follow.
Like typical heroes, most would say, “I’m just doing my job” or “It was my honor to serve.” They don’t want to be placed on a lofty pedestal or adulated from afar. They see themselves as regular men and women who were simply willing to step up, do their duty, and serve their country. And yet it’s that sense of humble dedication to duty that swells our hearts with appreciation and respect for their service. They are shining reflections and visible symbols of the land we love.
Another U. S. President, John F. Kennedy, wisely said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”2 This day and forever, let us remember with gratitude our worthy servicemen and women and pray for heaven’s blessings upon them.
-Lloyd D. Newell
1. Speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, published in New York Times, June 29, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/29/world/americas/29iht-web.0629bushtext.html.
2. Remarks at Amherst College, Oct. 26, 1963, http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/80308LXB5kOPFEJqkw5hlA.aspx.