God Blessed America

When I was a child growing up in the hollows of West Virginia coal country, we still called it Decoration Day. It was the day set aside to visit and decorate the graves of those who gave their lives in our nation’s wars. The guardians of our freedom rest in cemeteries across our land, at the places where they stood final muster in foreign lands, and some rest in places known only to God. Now we call it Memorial Day and sadly, most of our children neither know nor are taught about the significance of it and to countless more, it is just the first long weekend of summer.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

Our country is a very special place. It is so, because at its very beginning we acknowledged that our cherished freedom is a gift of God. Whenever called, there have always been men and women ready to stand between us and those who would smother freedom’s light. They go, confront our enemies and more than a million of them have died so that you and I can sit on the patio on a sunny afternoon in May sipping cool drinks, eating hotdogs and watching millionaires race cars. Do we not owe them more than that? Men and women of valor died for us and we reward ourselves with a holiday.

In his Word War I poem, In Flanders Fields, Canadian Army Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, concluded with this as the voice of the fallen:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies blow
In Flanders fields.

Each of us must ask the person in the mirror if we caught the torch, and if so, do we hold it high? Have we broken the faith with those who died?

I do not know if you have ever visited a Veteran’s cemetery. When you see those stones sitting row on row, from your heart can you utter a thank you with assurance that you have the torch – freedom’s torch? Or, was your duty fulfilled when you visited a gravesite, publicly bowed your head and then went to the season’s first cook out.

I do not want to detract from the importance of this time with my cynicism, but an old trusted Soldier told me once that sometimes your words must hit the recipient in the head as if they were delivered by a two by four, otherwise he may not get the message.

Our cemeteries are filled with those who, for us, defeated Japanese Imperialism, Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism (NAZI) and fought Communists directly in Korea and Vietnam and for the past decade Radical Islamists. When they passed us the torch, I believe we took it to the mall.

As I scan the battlefield, I see communists at the highest levels of our government. They do not call themselves that and spineless politicians who fear being beaten with a McCarthy bat will not call them that either, but they are there. It is documented that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are in top positions in the State Department, the Whitehouse, Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Add to that, anti-Soldier, anti-Americans like Bomber Bill Ayers have influence at the highest level. We have not taken the torch and many souls on this day must be asking why did you send me?

Millions have died preserving freedom. Sadly, the rest of us appear determined to give it away.

We shall not sleep, though poppies blow

In Flanders fields.

©2012