Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remembering those who serve the U.S.A.

Today is Sunday, and Memorial Day for those men and women who have served since the beginning of this nation, in the armed forces, in the militias and the communities to make this nation the land of the free and the home of the brave. The Southern Baptist Church I attend had the most wonderful Memorial for the living men and women; and also for the ones who died while serving or who have since died.The comments by the Pastor rightfully linked their service to the words of Jesus who said, "greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for another." Four men and one woman presented the "colors"--the flags of the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines, while the choir sang the respective anthems for each branch of service. On an overhead projector,were slides-images of the US Capitol, the Statue of Liberty in NY harbor, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia with its stark white crosses honoring those who gave their lives; the statue commemorating Iwa Jima and the raising of the US flag there, the monstrous air craft carriers with planes taking off, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, men in uniform in combat trenches, helicopters airlifting the injured, children crying as their daddies left, to depict the images the nation recognizes as resulting because of military duty.

The US Military has had round the world presence since the nation began if you think about it. The American Revolution involved combat with English and French nations, and the World Wars involved armed conflict with Europe and England, and the Arabic wars involve armed conflict with Arabic nations. The Church service was a way of celebrating America's strengths and blessings from God; and a way of reminding us that service to our nation and to our communities and our families honors God.
As a most wonderful pianist played the national Anthem, America the Beautiful, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA", and the Battle Hymn of the Republic I felt my heart "swell" with pride --a righteous appreciation is perhaps a better word since "pride" has been hijacked for perversions. The sheer numbers of men and women who have served this nation faithfully and sacrificially since the 1700's and the preparations and backing of the people has made this nation the power it is,and not the Congress or the Supreme Court. The men and women who put their lives on the line for principle are who define this nation, and it is not or was not the government. The Battle Hymn of the Republic's words, "our God is marching on" has always filled me with such a sense of majesty and awe at the thought of God going before us as a nation and me individually, marching on toward the kingdom of God, leading those who will follow HIM. The Battle Hymn of the Republic began during the Civil War and it was the standard of the troops intent on putting down slavery and secession to hold the nation together "under God", and it is always appropriate where the battle is good v evil,right v wrong [as God defines], liberty v bondage.
As the pianist played the "taps" for the memories of those who fell in the line of duty, I remembered the military funeral of my daddy,where the flag that covered his casket was folded and handed to my mother. The tears! Oh my! My tears were streaming down my face as I remembered my daddy--how much he loved the United States, the very soil of it, the people of it, the name of it, the flag. How he took us all to the military fly-over events at Turner Field in Albany Ga when we were young and to make us remember the mighty US military who protected us. The way my daddy loved the United States makes me feel such a sense of duty to do what I am able to do to promote the idea that the United States must continue in righteousness, must be pleasing to God, must stand and be counted for life, truth, liberty and justice for all, peace,-- peaceful means backed up with enormous power, to continue this nation under God.
Let those who scoff at America or Americans, be ashamed today and every day, when they think that Americans are not noble, or are not good, or are not seeking to please God. MOST of Americans are good, and we are a blessed CHRISTIAN nation. I would be the first to admit that there are some scoundrels in the Congress, in the Universities teaching a Godless, secular communism instead of truth of God or liberty, and there are some wicked people in power, and some who buy Legislators and pervert justice. Those wicked must be rooted out and removed from power. They wicked do not represent all of us. Some of us whose hearts soar when we hear the national anthem, and see the US flag waving in the breeze, and see military men and women in crisp uniforms, well disciplined and sharp, know that we are indeed a blessed nation that God HIMSELF has created and sustains by HIS power, and that IF HE ever takes HIS hand off America, that would be a terrible day of wrath for the nation at large.
America is not a land of infidels, not a land of barbarians [except those who kill babies in the wombs of their mothers] not a land of the wicked; precisely because Churches are at liberty to compare the deeds of mere mortal men and women to the deeds of Jesus Christ in order to encourage all of us to be like Jesus, make HIM our role model, seek HIS kingdom and HIS glory. The anti-Christ who is doing all in his wickedness and with his legions of demons to destroy America will not prevail as long as there live here God's people--those believers in the ONE God, who makes all and rules over all, and who reigns "on earth as it is in heaven"; believers who KNOW the words of God and adhere too, live by and teach them.
Here are the members of my family and friends to whom I want to say a public THANK YOU for their duty to the U.S.:
my ancestors in the American Revolution,
my ancestors who served in the Civil War;
my ancestors in World War I,including my mother's father,
my father who was in World War II in the Army;
my brothers who served in the Navy and one who was career Navy;
my daughter who served this nation in the Peace Corps;
my father-in-law who served three "tours" of duty with US Marines;

and to this long time friend of mine, who served in the Navy who lives in Lawrenceville Georgia and knows of my respect for his committment to the US Constitution.

It is my fervent prayer that the goodness and the love of God is what the US military exports around the world, and the knowledge and absolute conviction that good triumphs over evil, and God wins HIS battles; as well as liberty for all.

signed gloria poole pappas


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