Tag Archive | veterans

Lest We Forget

 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits!”

God and Soldier Forgotten

 

“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God…”  Deuteronomy 8:11-14

 

We have short-term memories as individuals and as nations.  God knew this only too well.  Others too..once upon a time, some insightful wise men noted the dilemma, and decided to dedicate certain days on the calendar as signposts to assist our flailing memories.  There’s Valentine’s Day, to remind us to say I love you to our most beloved.  And Thanksgiving, so we remember to be thankful!  It’s ludicrous that we require such reminders!  Nevertheless….we do.

So on Veteran’s Day, let’s remember with thankful hearts, the veterans of today and yesterday, as we go about enjoying our homes, our food, and freedoms, small and large, which many can only dreamed of. 

And more importantly (I can say this as a veteran), let’s not forget our Lord and Saviour, Who gives us each breath, directs our daily path, and watches over us as we sleep.   We must not forget the Cross and the sufferings of Jesus, which provide for all who believe, freedom from sin, a guarantee of death swallowed up in victory, and toil that is not in vain! (I Cor.15:57) 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of  His benefits.  Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;  Who satisfies your years with good things…”  Psalm 103:2-5

Why the Poppies??

 

poppy

Photo by John Owen

Why are little red poppies handed out to shoppers in the mall or Wal-Mart, commemorating honour this time of year to U.S. and Canadian veterans?  What do poppies have to do with war veterans?  The symbolism is derived from one of the most famous war-inspired poems of the 20th century.  The poem may be more familiar to my Canadian friends, because it was written by a Canadian Army officer and is quoted on their $10 bill. 

Major John McCrae, a doctor and 1st Lieutenant in the Canadian Army during World War I, treated the wounded and dying on the gruesome battlefield of Ypres, France, in 1915.  Shortly after witnessing the loss of a dear friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, Ontario, his eyes wandered to the battlefield, brimming with red poppies and the remains of many dead.  He wrote the following poem in response:

               In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Now you know..

Please remember our veterans today.  Pray for all the servicemembers in Iraq, Afghanistan, on ships at sea, and around the globe, for their safety, their success, and their salvation.  May God’s grace and mercy continue to be a beacon in our country, and may our freedom to share our hope in Jesus Christ never be lost.  Thank a veteran for your freedoms, without neglecting to give thanks and praise for the lovingkindness of our Father.

Remember the poppies…and the Cross.