"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day - Pause to honor those who have served

As a nation, we have prospered because we’ve always had citizens willing to stand up and answer the call to serve in hours of need. Our national resolve has been expressed by the millions who have worn the military uniform. Today, we honor our veterans, past and present, for their unyielding sacrifice and dedication to our great nation. As many of you know, Veterans Day was first observed in 1919 to commemorate the Armistice Agreement ending World War I—the supposed “war to end all wars.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower broadened its meaning in 1954 when he officially renamed it Veterans Day, to recognize all those who had served. This year, Veterans Day falls amid national challenges that are unlike any others in our history. The War on Terrorism is a long-term struggle that has sent our troops to multiple theaters around the world. To say the least, the obstacles have been trying and the dangers have been real. But progress is being made. Recently, we’ve seen our men and women in uniform make huge strides in the name of freedom. They’ve not only made our own country more secure, but they continue to bring the fight to our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though significant challenges lie ahead before stability returns to these areas, the brave men and women serving in our military are prepared to do the job.
The same dedication we witness in today’s endeavors has preserved America in the toughest of times throughout its history. Whether in peace or at war, the important role of our veterans cannot be denied. They are men and women from all walks of life—some young, some old; some ordinary, some famous. But they share one thing in common—a love for this great country. In return for their many sacrifices, these brave individuals ask very little. And thus, it falls to an indebted nation to meet their selflessness with thankfulness.
Honor the sacrifices of our veterans. We must mobilize to get out and serve those who have served; whether it’s visiting our veterans’ and military hospitals, or simply working with the citizen-soldiers of the National Guard in our own communities, we all must make a concerted effort to ensure the actions of all veterans are appropriately remembered and appreciated.
It’s time we as a nation take the proper steps to renew our commitment to those who made a commitment to America. We must ensure that the VA has the proper resources to do its job. We must not stand idly by as our veterans wait years to receive their benefits and are turned away in their hour of need.
The VA needs the proper resources to ensure that their workforce is not overtaxed and under-trained. For no matter where or when our veterans have served, they’ve always served with distinction. Service to country is a bridge over which more than 38 million Americans have passed during time of war. It was built on courage, dedication and patriotism—keystones in our American way of life. So on this Veterans Day, there is much to commemorate, and much to be thankful for. It is true that America is strong and free. But we would never have come this far without the heroes we call veterans. Today we have the privilege of honoring this very special group of Americans, whose service spans every decade of our country’s existence. We owe a great deal. First and foremost, we owe them our freedom. And today, especially, we owe them our gratitude. Thank you—and God Bless America. Thank You, Lord, for the men and women of our armed forces. Protect them as they protect us. Defend them as they defend us. Encourage and strengthen their spirit, soul, and body in the execution of their duties and responsibilities. May they be mentally and physically strong when required to face the challenges of combat. Undergird them with Your Holy Spirit and might when they are called upon to endure the hardships of battle. I pray that nothing would take them by surprise, but that they would be aware of all potential aggression. Enable them to curtail hostile actions before they start. Reveal to military leaders the strategies and plots that enemies would wage. Give leaders wisdom and insight in all decisions. May response to any aggression by enemies of this nation be swift, accurate, and effective. Father, give our military favor with the governmental agencies of this country. I pray that our Congress would appropriate sufficient funds to keep our nation's military preeminent and strong in the world. Thank You, Lord, for providing America with the best trained, equipped, and lead military force in the world today. Fill them with Your saving grace and the gospel of peace that they may be shining witnesses of Your heavenly love. Enrich them spiritually that they may cope with life and death situations on the field of battle. When their military brothers and sisters fall in action, give them the strength to continue the good fight. Relieve any feelings of guilt that they may experience if they have to kill another of Your children, in every situation. Help them to realize that they are called to perform at capacity, and unfortunately killing others may sometimes be required of them. Instill in them Your love, showing them mercy and forgiveness when they must break the fifth commandment out of necessity. Whenever possible, guide them to find more humane ways to achieve their goals, keeping the number of casualties at a minimum. In Jesus' Holy Name, I humbly pray. Amen.

No comments: