Monday, May 25, 2009

Thanks For the Sacrifice

The closest I ever came to serving in the military was one quarter of ROTC in college. I attended Ohio State during the height of the Vietnam War, while the draft was still in effect, but my lottery number was 279. As long as I remained in good standing with the university, I did not need to be concerned about rice paddies, monsoons and jungle warfare.

But my father was in the Army for 22½ years, serving in armored and infantry divisions in North Africa and Europe during World War II, including the famed Battle of the Bulge, being wounded twice. So I still have a very personal interest in Memorial Day. Julius Tamasy was one of the courageous men and women who since the founding of our nation have experienced war’s horrors – literally devoting their lives for our freedom.

Dad hardly ever talked about the war, at least not when I was around. But I do remember the nights when his muffled screams would shatter the quiet, a vivid wartime nightmare disrupting his sleep. So I knew that, unlike depictions in the John Wayne movies, his were not fond memories of battlefield camaraderie.

I’m glad this day is devoted not only to those who did not come home, but also to those noble veterans who did return and resumed lives unpunctuated by gunfire and explosive concussions. We owe them all far more than we could ever repay; more than we can truly imagine.

Jesus, looking ahead to what would prove to be His ultimate of “ultimate sacrifices,” said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). To the servicemen and women who have ventured to foreign lands to help protect freedom and combat tyranny, we are in your debt.

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