Delbert Belton was waiting in his car for his caretaker to help him into the Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge in Spokane where he routinely played pool on Wednesday night. Two unidentified black teenage males approached, beat him senseless with flashlights, and he died the next morning at a local hospital.
Mr. Belton fought with the United States Army in the bloodiest battle of World War II, the final major battle leading to the surrender of Japan. The Battle of Okinawa resulted in death and injury to over 60,000 American service members during the period April thru June 1945. Mr. Belton was one of those casualties, suffering from a gunshot wound in the leg which resulted in his receiving the Purple Heart.
A surviving sister, Alberta Tosh, who was just a baby when he went off to war, remembers the impact that the war had on him. She said that when he returned from the Pacific he was different and it took him a long time to readjust and try and get over the awful memories that he had acquired.
Later, Mr. Belton began a career back in his hometown with Kaiser Aluminum and was a faithful and good employee for 33 years, retiring in 1982. He loved to dance and work on cars, and he spent a lot of time doing the things he loved in his retirement. And, of course, he loved the weekly pool games at the Eagles lodge, which he never missed. He is remembered by his friends as a happy and friendly older man who would never harm anyone.
Another fine man, an elderly American Patriot, dies at the hands of violence by a generation that seemingly has no sense of right or wrong and certainly no moral code to follow. What's more, this same group has many apologists who are always making excuses for their actions and behavior. I truly hope that justice prevails in this case and for other like situations which seem to be running rampant in America today.
May Mr. Belton rest in peace, may we remember and honor his service to the country he loved, and may those who perpetrated this and other like heinous crimes be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
Let us pray:
Dear Lord, We honor Delbert Belton today, a simple man who did what so many did in sacrificing for and serving proudly the country that he loved. Be with his spirit on his journey home and comfort his loved ones who are certainly tormented by the senselessness and the evil of the act committed against him. And, Lord, open the hearts of the evil doers to the Holy Spirit and infect them with goodness, replacing evil. While they still must face the proper punishment for the evil they have done, help them change their ways and follow Thee to a better future.
And Lord, also help our entire American society become reacquainted with 'Thee and relearn to love Thee. Evil seems to be lurking everywhere and our country has lost its way. Help all Americans to see the error of their ways and to change, to take better care of our children, and to develop them as Citizens of Christ. For only in this way can we find peace and harmony again. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen
May the peace of the Lord be with all of you today and all days to come. Honor Him, serve Him and Love Him.