The picture shown is from the forest lands surrounding the crossroads town of Bastogne in Belgium. The brave Americans defending this strategic area weathered the cold while low on water and rations and even lacking proper winter clothing. Though surrounded by the Germans who were massed in strength and attempting their last push in World War II, they successfully held them off until reinforcements could be brought in. Had they not kept the Germans from breaking out, the planned invasion of Germany would have been delayed and battlefield losses for both sides would have been significantly greater. But despite our success, many never made it home, dying on the battlefield.
But whether it was Bastogne in Europe or on Guadalcanal or Iwo Jima fighting the Japanese, not to mention other wars beginning with the American Revolution and continuing until Iraq and Afghanistan, those who died gave it their all unselfishly for our way of life and freedom. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, and on to the frozen Chosen Reservoir of Korea, the rice paddies of Vietnam and the desert dust of Iraq and Afghanistan, American fighting men and women have sacrificed and died for the American cause.
So on this Memorial Day, it is only fitting that we should do something special in honor of their memory. We can attend a special public ceremony in our communities, take time to explain the meaning of the day to our children who are no longer taught about it in school or just take a moment to thank God for their courage and sacrifice, using them as an example to encourage our support for freedom from tyranny despite all odds. Whatever it is, don't let the moment escape without remembering them. It's the very least we can do.
Dear Lord: We thank you for this land that you have given us and we especially thank you for giving so many the courage to stand and die for freedom, including the freedom to worship you and live under our own free will. We know that you welcomed them home with open arms and they no longer suffer pain or sorrow in any way. We pray that we can find a way to end war, but we know that when tyranny raises it's ugly head, we must turn to you for guidance and direction in determining the proper course to follow. Help us to always rely on you to give us the moral strength to follow that course. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
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