Thank a Veteran today…
My dual contemplation part 1…the US
Today is a day of dual contemplation for me, now that I live in the US I contemplate Veterans Day and I think of those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and who have sacrificed and given of themselves to defend something that is much greater than you or I. They defended the freedom of this great nation that is the USA. I say this as an immigrant to this great land from the UK and sometimes it takes an outsider to remind you that you have a great country that by God’s grace I am fortunate to live in.
My dual contemplation part 2…the UK
The second part of my contemplation goes a little further as back home in the UK it is Armistice Day, the day marked to remember the fallen of all wars from the British Armed Forces. It is no co-incidence that both fall on November 11th as it was the end of World War 1. This is the reason for the graphic symbolizing the poppy and a solemn remembrance of the ones who literally “gave all” for a cause they saw as greater than even their own lives. That to me is the ultimate definition of sacrifice, certainly some were “called up” but there are countless stories of those who volunteered to go long before they would have ever have been “drafted”.
Memorial Day versus Veterans Day
In the US we have a separate day to memorialize the fallen called Memorial Day and often times my well-meaning friends on Facebook don’t get the days correct, I don’t get bent out of shape about it as it is a genuine error rather than a malicious misrepresentation. I say this because people genuinely do get annoyed about it and on Veterans Day some folks may be taking their cues from British based social media who are honoring their fallen and dead on the same day.
Love your Veteran
A veteran is someone who took the bible verse in John 15:13 literally when Jesus advised that there was no greater love than a man who was willing to lay down his life. Whilst some Veterans are still alive, they will have been changed by their service. I do not write that lightly and we are still finding out about the horrors of such things as PTSD, Shell shock and other forms of trauma that are associated with battle type scenarios. Whilst your veteran may be holding it together on the outside that is not to say he has not been affected on a much deeper level internally.
I am not saying that all veterans are basket cases; please do not think that I am. I am just stating that you should please be aware that because someone’s body appears whole, that they may need you but have not reached out. Whilst they are hero’s they are still people and still have the same emotional needs that others have.
Honor your Veteran
I honor, revere and respect all those who have served, whether voluntarily or whether they have been compelled to by the ruling authorities these people do deserve to be honored, loved and respected while they are still with us and mourned when they have passed. I love reading about restaurants that will allow veterans to eat for free on this day and they should certainly be publicized.
I would also go further and say we must do more for our veterans who have fallen on hard times and may not have somewhere to live, may not be paying all their bills, may even not be getting enough to eat and I believe that we should be doing more to help those who have risked their lives in defense of our country. It always saddens me when I hear of stories of folks who are in this situation.
But I am a pacifist…
(I am not) But some Christians will get their panties in a wad over a Veterans Day post here because they are anti-war or anti-Army. You don’t have to be as extreme as the Westboro Baptist Church to hold anti-Soldier sentiments and I know people who feel that way. That is your choice and you have your right to free speech. (On this article it is at the bottom of the page it is the comments section)
I am not anti-war by any means, I am also not against your right to protest because free speech is a wonderful thing and many veterans would agree with me as they fought for your freedoms and one of those freedoms is your right to disagree with those actions. We are called in Romans 13 to be in subjection to the ruling authorities that God has placed over us whether that be the current president or the captains he has deputized to defend us and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the actions, it is your right to freely express your opinion, which of course was fought for by those you disagree with.
God bless America
Whilst I honor our Veterans I also pray for them and their personal salvation unto Jesus Christ, they are warriors and have fought the hardest battles in life and now I fervently pray that they come to faith (if they have not done so already) in Jesus. I pray for this whole great country we call the USA one soul at a time and my prayer is not for an end to war or violence as some request, but I desire a revival of souls and a nation that will do as requested in Isaiah 40 and be that “nation who bears his name” and that they will “humble themselves and pray” that way our land will be healed.
I pray this is not just another day off for you and I pray that you were blessed, encouraged or maybe challenged by this Veterans Day/Armistice Day blog article, please share, like or comment on social media as the LORD leads.