Wednesday, August 24, 2005

There's a Price for Freedom—a Price Some Are Willing to Pay

That statement is the last line from the trailer for The Great Raid. I watched the trailer today after listening to Al Mohler's radio show from yesterday in which he described the courage, sacrifice, and heroism of 120 U.S. Army Rangers sent to rescue 500 American soldiers in a WWII Japanese POW camp in the Philippines.

The Department of Veterans Affairs tells us that we bury 1,000 WWII veterans every day. That means that every two days more WWII vets die than have been killed since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Sixteen million men and women served in that war.

In the past 18 months I've attended the funerals of two of these WWII vets. One was my grandfather; the other was the gentleman who sat in the pew in front of me in church for the past three years I've lived in North Carolina. Mr. Walker passed away just two weeks ago, right around the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender.

I realize this post isn't about a core Paleoevangelical principle, or perhaps gratitude ought to be. Multitudes gave their lives—more than 400,000. A few lived with the horrific memories of what duty demanded of them. The cable documentaries of the Hiroshima bomb drop offer a stark reminder of that fact.

The vets you and I know have been channels of God's grace that gave us life and freedom. We have little time left to express our gratitude to them. For that matter, there is no good reason for us to postpone showing our respect and gratitude to veterans of more recent conflicts.


P J said...

Just after I read your post I left to got to one of the "1,000" funerals today. Maybe it had nothing to do with the tenants of paleoevangelicalism, but I appreciate and echo what you wrote!

Anonymous said...

I read your recent post with interest. For a few years my young family lived across the street from a WWII vet and around the block from another. I flew my flag for them before 9/11, and I flew my flag for all of us after. I wish I could take my young son to meet them when he understands such ennobling concepts, but the one has passed away and the other is half a continent away and may not be alive when he would understand. We will go to Arlington and the WWII memorial sometime, but stone is mute. Vets’ faces say more than their words. The pictures and ribbons which hang on their walls proclaim their honor.

The title of your post got me thinking. “A Price Some are Willing to Pay”- we as Americans now live in a country of “socialistic freedom.” The entire “greatest generation” paid for their freedom whether on the battlefield or in the factory or at the pump or by the meat counter. All paid, and all enjoyed the benefit. Today a few pay, and we all benefit. This means our gratitude should run even deeper and spread even wider.