I know that we are no longer supposed to draw attention to or respect some of those great men that have gone on before us. In today’s society some of them are no longer “politically correct.” Ptui on that! Let me draw your attention to some words penned by Robert E. Lee to a wife of one of his officers that was wounded in battle.
“I know that you will unite with me in thanks to Almighty God, who has so often sheltered him in the hour of danger, for his recent deliverance, and lift up your whole heart in praise to Him for sparing a life so dear to us, while enabling him to do his duty in the station in which He had placed him. Ask him to join us in supplication that He may always cover him with the shadow of His almighty arm, and teach him that his only refuge is in Him, the greatness of whose mercy reacheth unto the heavens, and His truth unto the clouds. As some good is always mixed with the evil in this world, you will now have him with you for a time and I shall look to you to cure him soon and send him back to me.”
In this letter we see many things, one of which is the fact that it is always God to Whom we need to turn in times of duress and sorrow. In the midst of the battlefield, God is there. He protects, delivers, or He may call us home. In battle we may get wounded and become a casualty of the fray. When we become a casualty, we can lie there and die, cause our loved ones pain and sorrow, or we can do as Terry Tuley writes, “We can either let our wounds destroy us or become a means to draw us closer to Christ.”
“Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death — the seas bear only commerce men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way. I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.
As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I tank a merciful God that He has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.
A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.”
That was part of the words directed to the American people shortly after General MacArthur made the statement aboard the USS Missouri, “These proceedings are closed,” and thus bringing to an end the bloodiest conflict know to man. Though my Dad would spend another year in the occupation of Japan, this marked the time when he would be able to come home.
We surely had a “Greatest Generation” who sacrificed, if nothing else, years of their lives for their country. Truthfully, most of them sacrificed much more and some gave that ultimate sacrifice. Never should we forget, never should we ever bring dishonor.
“I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.”
–Isaiah 57:18 (KJV)