But are we truly honoring them? Do we respect them? What about admiring them or appreciating them? It is not enough to hang a flag outside your door on this one day a year that is set aside for them. Are we all conscious that they have stepped into the gap for us, and are willing to make the hard sacrifices so that we can continue to live our self-absorbed lives? When you look at how the VietNam vets were treated on their return home, or the mistreatment of today's military by the VA Administration, we should hang our head in shame.
I often ask myself, why would anyone choose to step up and lay their life on the line when it is so under-apprecuated? Thanks to a smartphone app called "Whisper", some soldiers have been taking to social media and giving us an insight as to why they are willing to put others before themselves. Some of their reasons for joining the armed forces are the following: a true desire to serve their country; the need to preserve our freedom; to do something with their life and to make a difference; a wish to protect their family; a determination to conquer their fears; and a longing to save lives. Many of them lost a parent or loved one on September 11th, and they have a deep need to defend this nation against evil.
As I reflect back on our country's history, the reasons for our participation in all the wars were varied. Yet I would suspect that the reasons young men and women have enlisted has remained the same. Read back through the comments made on social media … except for the reference to 9/11, all those reasons could apply to a solider in the Civil War, or the Indian Wars, the Mexican Revolution, the Spanish-American War, either World War, the Korean War, VietNam, the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan or Iraq.
I stand in awe of any member of the military, from any era, who has answered his heart's desire to serve his country and fellow man. Anyone who puts on the uniform possesses a noble quality that distinguishes them from the rest of us. And today we remember all who have perished. And with each of those nearly one-and-a-quarter million deaths, there have been parents, spouses, children, and siblings who have grieved their loss. A tremendous price has been paid …. and yet they continue to take our place on that front line; they carry on the long tradition of American sacrifice for causes greater than themselves.
It is a sad commentary on these times in which we live, that I am having an increasingly difficult time honoring the causes, let alone the men and institutions who create the wars in which we celebrate our fallen. It is my prayer that these exceptional Americans will not have died in vain, and that the country they believed in, and fought for, will survive and fulfill her calling. May God have mercy on their souls and reward them for their sacrifice.
John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice ."