My family and I took an impromptu trip to our local town’s municipal center. Earlier in the day, I noticed a Blackhawk helicopter land on the lawn of the municipal center and curiosity got the better of me. I decided that when I picked up my family for lunch, we would stop by to see this gorgeous piece of military machinery.
When we parked the car, we noticed at least a few hundred people on the lawn as well as other military vehicles. It was obvious that we had stumbled upon a Veterans’ Day gathering of sorts.
As we continued to walk through the lawn, I observed men and women walking around with their veterans’ caps. Soldiers who served in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and even World War II were present. I took my daughter’s hand and as many as we could, we thanked every veteran we met. Anabelle was a little shy but I made sure to shake their hands and say, “Thank you.”
Remember the Blackhawk helicopter? It was still there! As we approached it, we saw a couple of active duty United States Army pilots. They were eating lunch. I pointed to them and told Anabelle, “Look. They’re soldiers.” One of them looked at Anabelle and engaged her in a conversation. Without prompting, my daughter looked at the soldier and said, “Thank you for your service.” Wow! I don’t even know if she realized what it meant but I am thankful she said it.
In a day when everyone has their own opinion and they feel strongly about it, it’s amazing that we’ve lost sight of the fact that our freedom to voice these opinions are due in large part to the sacrifice of brave men and women who serve in our United States military. We are free because there are people who are willing to leave their families for extended periods of time to secure the safety of American people and interests around the world. We are free because there are husbands and wives, along with their children that are willing to share their dads, moms, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins with the rest of the world as they fulfill their duties. We are free because brave men and women live dangerous lives so we don’t have to. We can pillow our heads tonight without fear because there are valiant soldiers protecting us at all cost. Thank God for our soldiers!
Anabelle asked us when we got back in the car, “Why do we thank soldiers?” As best as we could, we explained to our three-year old that there is a constant battle between good (our soldiers) and evil (those who want to harm us) and that it won’t end until the evil ones know who Jesus is. And that’s why we honor soldiers – so that we can keep telling others who Jesus is for He’s our only Hope!