Picture from the Santa Fe, New Mexico National Cemetery
A Memorial Month
As you may know, each Memorial Day I am given the great privilege to honor our military veterans and those serving today with a national radio presentation. Years ago, when I first started producing my programs for Memorial Day, I discovered that there was little I could say that could compare to what our Veterans and those serving today have done.
So, I decided to have the Veterans tell their stories of war themselves. I began gathering interviews from men and women of all ages, who served in so many wars going back to World War II all the way up to the present. Some of the war stories told to me were so horrific that parts of the story never made it on the air; some were so sad that it seemed all we could do was just sit and cry over the terrible loss and suffering. It is true what Benjamin Franklin said, “There is no good war – no bad peace”.
Perhaps the hardest part for me is the knowing that for every story I hear and help to be told, there are literally millions more of these stories still needing to be told. And these stories being told are not just faceless stories that we read in a book – they are real people with moms and dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters. Those who fight in war are real people with loved ones at home – waiting, hoping, praying, – and some never come home.
Since that first Revolutionary War was fought in 1776, over 40 million brave Americans have gone to war with over 2 1/2 million casualties. And this doesn’t start to count the immeasurable hurt inflicted on the loved ones left behind and others who still suffer from their emotional injuries. Yes, war is a terrible thing.
But as I see these programs make it to the air waves for all to hear the actual true story from the Veterans themselves, along with the sorrow and sadness that I feel, I also feel an overwhelming pride and respect for all who have served. Those who go to war are giving everything they have. The Bible says it this way,
“Greater love has no one than this, than one lay down his life for his friends”.
And those who have gone to war have given this ultimate gift of love. Even those that didn’t die in battle they have made this great sacrifice by their willingness to fight, to protect us, and we all should be forever grateful.
And on last amazing fact – not one of these brave Americans I have spoken with has ever voiced to me that they did any more than was expected. Not one felt that they should be considered a hero. And all believe that war and violence must be used only as a last resort.
In this Memorial month especially, my thanks and deepest gratitude go out to all who have served, past and present. May we never forget just what you’ve done for us.
Find someone today who has/is serving and tell them “Thank You”.