A Celebration of Our Veteran
This article will come just after our God and Country celebration, where each year in our community we honor the Veterans of past wars as well as the active members of our present armed forces who keep us free in our beloved country.
The Veterans of past wars come in a number of different sizes, shapes and ages. their experience of past wars spans World Wars and several foreign conflicts. They have been in Flanders field,
Iwo Jima, the beaches of Normandy, Porkchop Hill and the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta. No matter where they have been, all Veterans share a common bond - a brotherhood of memory and hard won wisdom that helps define their character.
A Veteran is the first one up when the flag passes by and the last man down, for they have been witness to the blood and tears that make our God & Country program and all parades possible. A Veteran is a man of peace, soft spoken, slow to anger, quick to realize that those who talk most about the glory of war are those who know least about its horror. The Veteran does not joke about war because he has been there and still recalls in his memories the dying, the widows and orphans. He knows firsthand that no war is good and the only thing worse than war is the loss of freedom.
The Veteran is a friend to all races of men. He lives with the knowledge that is not the man who is the enemy but enslavement and false ideologies who are the foes. Many of those who they once faced as enemies across hostile battle lines, he now esteems as brothers. A Veteran is at once proud of the fact that in 240 years our country has not had a foreign enemy totally invade our country, and humble in the realization that many of his comrades who helped make the dream a reality never returned home to our country.
A Veteran is one who treasures freedom. He can spend a whole afternoon doing nothing because it suits him and because he has paid the price to do what he wants with his time. He also takes a personal pride in the freedom of others, so men and women can vote, attend a church of their choice, speak their mind and follow their dreams.
A Veteran is a person who has grown taller, a person who understands the price of life's intangibles of freedom, justice and democracy. His motto is to live and let live. But if he/she had to, to choose between servitude and conflict, the Veteran would once again answer a call to duty. Because above all - above all else, - a Veteran is an American.
Pastor Hans Lillejord