“Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Romans 13:7, KJV).
On Veterans Day, November 11, let us pause to reflect on the service and sacrifices of all those who have put on the uniform to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. Let us honor our veterans, who proved their heroism and love of country time and time again. More than a million have died in service to America, and probably close to twice that number have been wounded. Some sustained serious injuries in combat and now live with disabilities. We should all be grateful for the noble sacrifices made by these veterans. We can never adequately repay them, but we can honor and thank them for their service. In this day and time when many are protesting our flag and what it represents, the following poem says it all…
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilot’s planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldier’s graves?
No… Freedom is not free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands,
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington…
No… Freedom is not free!
– – Kelly Strong, Copyright 1981
As we consider the sacrifices and efforts of our veterans, we must never forget that freedom isn’t free… it always comes at a cost. And as we think of the One Who gave His life for all of us on the cross of Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ, we can thank God that He loved us so much that, while we were yet sinners, He gave His Son for us. Do you know Jesus today? If you do, you know that freedom from sin is only possible because Jesus paid the price for our freedom. If you don’t know Him today, what are you waiting for? Trust Jesus today as your Lord and Savior!