Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Guardians of Freedom

In the last sentence of Representative Darrell Issa's email letter which salutes our veterans today, he wrote, "I encourage you to make known your appreciation today and point the eyes of our young people toward the brave warriors throughout our history who've stood watch - and do so even now - as guardians of freedom."

Those brave men and women who have fought in wars to keep intact the freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States of America cannot be honored or thanked enough.

I watched the laying of the wreath ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier today. When taps was played, I could not help but well up with tears.  I recalled hearing taps being played at the funeral of a dear family friend who served in the Air Force in World War II. He died of a massive stroke back in May, 2011. This man was a long time companion of my mother (my father died in 1995), and his death was devastating for her.

I heard a statistic that 1,000 WWII veterans are dying each day. Well, on May 11, 2011, a very special member of that group left this earth and entered into eternity.

I didn't have the opportunity to speak about him at his funeral, but I do have a story to tell.

During several visits to our home over the years, Phil and my mom attended church with us. They are both Catholics, but liked to visit our Christian Fellowship whenever they came out to stay with us. In May, 2009,  Phil, my aunt, and my mom came out for our daughter's college graduation ceremony. They stayed for only a week this time because our family was scheduled to fly back east for our nephew's wedding.

During the church service on Sunday of that week, when the pastor offered the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Phil raised his hand. I know that it is frowned upon to "peak," but since he was in the seat right next to me, I felt his arm go up from his side. I was praying at the time and Phil's answer to the prompting of the Holy Spirit immediately brought joy to my heart! Little did any of us know that two years later, this one guardian of our freedom would be called home to be with the Lord.

This Veteran's Day, may we celebrate the lives and service of those who have served so valiantly in each branch of the military.

~ Christine

Here is Representative Darrell Issa's email in its entirety:

A Day to Salute America's Protectors in Arms
Dear Friend,
November 11 is set aside as a time for Americans to honor the men and women of our armed forces who have answered our country's call to serve, and to commemorate with solemn pride the heroism of those whose service required the ultimate sacrifice. We will not forget that our lives and our liberty are maintained, even in this moment, by their collective ranks.

America's men and women in uniform have an uncommon understanding of what liberty costs. They serve in our Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps because they believe in what America stands for - the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity. And they know that securing those ideals for their families, for their children, and for generations to come requires sacrifices in the present. It is a sign of blessing that America is home to a caliber of people willing to accept those stakes.

Throughout the world and since our founding, the promise of freedom has beckoned men and women to give of themselves and be part of the American story. Nowhere was this patriotism more evident than in San Diego this week when a group of active duty military service members, many of whom have served multiple combat tours overseas, were sworn in as citizens of the United States aboard the U.S.S. Midway. I was there. And as I congratulated these veterans on their achievement, I was struck by the fact that when these men and women took their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, they did so with the hope that one day the liberty it guarantees would be theirs. We must never forget the significance of their unique sacrifice for our nation. 

Too many take for granted what America's veterans and their families have intrepidly labored to uphold. And on this day, especially, we share the duty of setting that right.

To those men and women who have served in uniform themselves, thank you. Yours is an example future generations must follow. To those whose family members are among our military ranks, our gratitude is yours as well. We understand that the oath taken by your loved ones becomes yours too, and that your service and sacrifice - while often unsung - are critical in the completion of every successful United States military mission. And to all others who support our troops and the good work they do, I encourage you to make known your appreciation today and point the eyes of our young people toward the brave warriors throughout our history who've stood watch - and do so even now - as guardians of freedom.


Congressman Darrell Issa
(United States Army 1970-1972, 1976-1980)

Hat Tip:

Issa Congress Newsletter


GMpilot said...

You're welcome.

Christinewjc said...

Short, but sweet - eh GM?

But seriously, thank you for your service to our country.