A number of people, even corporations, are lauding the benefit of taking sometime on Thanksgiving Day to seriously pause and offer a prayer of thanksgiving from our heart for the people in our life.
We all have some outstanding close folks that have been good to us, some more than others, and a few who over the years have been outrageously good to us. We thank the Lord for their small or large gift to our life. If you pause and ponder you will discover in your time of reflection on ones for whom you are thankful, a few people who at first glance don’t seem all that important, will suddenly flash into your mind and something never before noticed will leap into your conscience memory and you, for the first time, realize just how important their contribution to you is in the grand scheme of things.
The following quote jumped off the page the other morning and it had a profound effect on my thought train.
“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” Jeff Miller.
“Lasting gratitude toward American Veterans.”
My adoptive father went to war only to return a few months later with a medical discharge. He became a security officer at Bainbridge Naval Training Center located where the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River meet at Havre de Grace, MD. I was only 3-4 years old when Mom would put a harness on me, much like the ones dogs wear, and using a rope fix me to a clothesline. In short order I escaped and ran a little distance to part of the training field. Through the fence the sailors would teach me to say cuss words. Of course I was an avid student. Mom never worried because when the sirens began to sound, I would come running to the tiny apartment on the base, scared out of my few wits. Strangely, I recall several of the incidents.
In my dotage I realize that many of the sailors set sail for the far flung war torn parts of the globe, many never to see their homeland again. Part of their contribution to me, besides sharing salty words, was the opportunity paid for with their life blood, to overcome life, while enjoying the Freedom of our Country, rather than learning Japanese or German.
Most older people realize that the military personnel of WWII were the last unleashed warriors given the unconditional command and the needed materials to win. The other options were not on the table. My heart goes out to the shackled veterans of Korea, Vietnam, and now the Mid-East.
Many thinking Americans feel a wave of thankfulness when they see our military men and women home on leave, proudly wearing the colors of their branch of service. Our family always says a “thank you for your service.”
In the giving of thanks, of course we thank Almighty God. While doing this we must thank God for the people and methods He uses to convey His blessing to us. Americans still speak our version of the English tongue, thanks to our military power. As much trouble as I had with the erroneously called “The Kings English,” I shudder at the thought of attempting German or Japanese and certainly Russian! Prior to my conversion to Jesus Christ I did learn several of the salty words taught to me as a child in a few foreign languages. Thankfully through the new heart provided by Jesus, I use more appropriate words. Okay, mostly.
The other day I heard the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet singing the lyrics to It Has Always Been The Soldier, written by “unknown.”
The second stanza goes like this:
Somewhere there's a soldier and he's looking at a picture
of his little girl;
How he wishes he were home!
And somewhere there's a soldier and he's reading a
love letter from his wife and she is telling him how
she feels so all alone.
And somewhere there's a mom and dad who cry late in
the night for a son who won't be coming home;
A son who gave their life.
Freedom isn't free! Oh can't you see?!
It has always been the soldier who has made the sacrifice.
Standing strong and proud in battle willing to lay down his life.
Yep, this Thanksgiving our family is thanking the Lord for the men and women wearing the colors of their branch of the Military of the United States of America. May God bless them all.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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