That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever. Joshua 4:6-8
During a recent visit with my mom and aunt, I sat back and listened to them talk about memories of our family. By listening I learned more than I ever knew through their joys and hardships endured. I learned about many times when the Lord blessed them and protected them. I am glad I learned about these experiences so I too can keep alive the stories shared.
All too often the rich legacy of our ancestors are lost forever. These stories need to be remembered and shared throughout the ages so we will never forget. Some of these stories revolve around family members who served in the armed forces to keep all of us free.
Young people today know very little about those who served. What they read in the history books doesn’t reveal the entire story of hardships and sacrifice by both those who served and those who remained home.
In my own family, I heard about my great-great grandfather who as a young 15-year-old boy was forced to serve in the Civil War. His family lived right on the Mason-Dixon line and was torn between the north and south. One day as a regiment of the Union Army passed by, this young boy went from hunting game to feed his family to becoming involved in a war that placed brother against brother.
My great Uncle also went from being a farm boy to crossing the ocean to fight in France during WWI.
During the Second World War, the family carried on at home. My grandfather was too young to fight in WWI and too old for WWII. Instead, he worked 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week to take up the slack of men who were in the military.
During the Korean Conflict, my Dad was stationed stateside working on planes that were vital to the military. He served on numerous naval bases and it was while he was on his way home on leave that he met my mom.
My brother joined the army just as the Vietnam War came to a close. All through high school he was preparing himself to go to war. He suffered an injury during a training exercise when a shell exploded prematurely. The rest of his life he suffered from a partial hearing loss. Still after his service he was glad he had served his country.
While the holiday of Memorial Day is passed, the traditional day for Memorial Day is only a few days away. Still it shouldn’t take a holiday for us to remember our service men and women of the past and the present.
In January we went to a special service honoring our servicemen and women.
They were honored for their sacrifice for their country. We were challenged to talk to as many of them as possible and thank them for serving their country. We were told to take every opportunity we had to say thank you to these brave men and women and to never forget what they did Just as Joshua told the people to always look at the memorial to what God did for the children of Israel when they crossed the Jordan, we too need to remember what God did through our servicemen and women. God has truly blessed our country in the past as the people of America turned their hearts to God.
What about the situation today? So many people turned their backs on God. Is God still blessing America? What about our servicemen and women? Do we remember them in prayer and thank them for serving our country? It doesn’t matter whether or not you are for or against the war in Iraq.
I was watching a documentary about Naval Aircraft Carriers. One sailor they interviewed said he didn’t agree with the war or the politics in Washington. However, he stated that he took an oath to serve his country and would do so, to the best of his ability, no matter what his personal beliefs might be.
Our country is ever changing, but I pray that we will follow this young sailor’s conviction and dedication. May we always remember the price paid by the military. Take time today to pray for our military and thank a veteran for their service.