Today is a day set aside to remember and honor our nations fallen soldiers. There are none counted so noble as those who have laid down their lives for the cause of freedom and the religious rights of there fellow citizens. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” It is a well understood principle that a person willing to give their life for the protection and well being of others is a hero.
As I ponder these things, I am reminded that my own family is one that has traditionally served our country in military service. I am named after a Civil War General, Joe Shelby, who was a great, great uncle of mine. Both of my grandfathers served in WW I, my father was a veteran of WW II, my brother and I served during the Vietnam era, and my son is currently serving in Germany as part of the Signal Corps. No one in my family has perished during their time of service thanks to the mercy shown to us by God.
Loss of life while serving in combat is something that we as Christians can relate to on a very personal basis. It was in battle that our savior gave His life for us. No, it was not on a traditional battlefield, but in the midst of the greatest battle known to man – the spiritual battle for our souls. He died so that we might live. It was his sacrifice that gives us hope.
As we honor our fallen soldiers today, and remember the sacrifice made by so many true heroes, let’s not forget to honor our God. So many of our soldiers are driven to duty not only by national patriotism, but also by a belief in God. Those who believe in life after death given by the grace of God can truly serve without regard to physical threat.
May God bless the families of all those whom we honor today, and may there be peace in knowing that their service will always be appreciated and for the believers that their place in heaven is secure. There is no way to relieve the pain of loss for those we hold dear, but knowing that we will see them again is no small consolation.