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Archive for November 11th, 2012

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not alarmed,
for this must take place,
but the end is not yet.”
Matthew 24:6

I do not know all that is involved in the meaning behind the passage above. Wars and rumors of wars have been taking place almost since Adam and Eve first ate of the fruit that they were instructed not to eat.

Today is Remembrance Day (Veterans Day, Armistice Day) a day that brings a watery-eyed stare to the eyes of veterans, a day for those of us living in peace and freedom an opportunity, not to glorify war, but to thank those who sacrificed for the gift of peace and freedom.

There is nothing like hearing the stories of freedom attained during WWII as the Canadian soldiers (and others) marched into Holland, or the stories of Jews who survived the Holocaust, because of the freedom attained through the lives of others, to push me to a cenotaph on November 11 … it is the least I could do.

Soldiers are not warmongers, they are men and women who are called to give … give their time, their youth, their will, and even their lives. They are fulfilling not a desire to kill, but a desire to prevent others from being killed, abused, demeaned, disrespected. They are fulfilling their job, as instructed to do so.

But it does not mean that those with whom they are enemies in wartime, are enemies in times of peace.

My family and I are blessed to see the redeeming work of God every Sunday, just by going to church. You see, the make up of our church is something that only God could do, and He has done it so well. On any given Sunday our sanctuary is filled with individuals from all over the world. And, in the pews sit many veterans … Canadian, German, and (until recent years) Russian … wartime enemies, peacetime friends.

I struggled with locating a ‘guest post’ for today. I so wanted something that would be meaningful, respectful, honoring.

So, in light of my earlier words about freedom, I want to introduce you to Neil Wilkenson, a British Gunner during the Falkland War, and Argentinean fighter pilot Mariano Velasco. During this war Neil shot Mariano’s plane down, and has been dealing with post traumatic demons ever since. In an effort to find inner peace, Neil wanted to find out what happened to the fighter pilot he shot down. This is the story of their reunion, and the freedom that was found by these wartime enemies.

In the words of Neil, “the welcome was everything I had thought of, no thoughts of hatred, nothing but pure admiration for each other and as former professionals we both understood it was our duty to carry out what we had against each other back in 1982.”

Another, more intensive link is here.

 

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