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Archive for November 9th, 2012

As I sat looking at the schedule for chapel at school, back in September, my eyes glanced Remembrance Day chapel, and the name of the teacher who is responsible each year for it. Immediately the name and face of man in our church came to mind.

This man is a veteran of World War II, during which he served as a fighter pilot, out of the airfields of Britain. He has seen, smelled and felt the glories and agonies of many battle successes as well as defeats, including being shot down resulting in the loss of three fingers, and in the loss of many fellow soldiers.

There have been sharing times at our church when he has bravely bared his heart through his memories of his time at war. His speaking is always well delivered, clear, authoritative and moving. He can draw a picture in the mind of the listener when he speaks. His stories contain real, vivid memories of specific battles, when only a small portion of his comrades returned afterward, stories of sorrow, stories of loss, stories that always end with a mention of wishing he had known then about the God who had His hand on his life, even though it he had not known him personally until more than sixty years later.

Well I spoke to this veteran, excited by my great idea to have him share his story with today’s youth. I just knew that he would be the man who would share in such a way that the listeners would not hear of the gore of video games and movies, but of the real experiences and emotions that war produces, as well as a sincere interjection of how faith, however late in life is found, is never too late.

The response from this man, this veteran, adequately sat me back on my behind. His response was sacrificial … he would agree to do it, but only because my hubby and I love him, and he loves us.

All of a sudden, I got it … I got the message that Remembrance Day should provide for all of us who have so little to remember. That message is that the stories that we hear, the remembering that we are exposed to, are not just ceremony with hymns, trumpets and marching, they are not just stories, like fairy tales from a book. They are the memories of men and women who have sacrificed for freedom. They are memories that communicate that the sacrifice is on-going. It did not end when the war was declared ended, it does not end until their inner war is finally declared finished, one that ushers them from this life and into the next.

The following Sunday I spoke with him, thanked him, and told him that our friendship was in no way a reason for him to have to re-live his memories. I told him our friendship would never ask such a sacrifice of him … that he had sacrificed enough already.

With tears in his eyes, he said he just didn’t think he could do it. And that is okay, because he has done enough already!

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