SERVING OUR VETERANS: No greater love
Twelve days ago our nation celebrated Memorial Day to honor those men and women in our Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in order to defend and preserve the freedom we have today as American citizens.
Today, June 6th, also reminds us that 76 years ago in 1944, the invasion of Normandy began during World War II. Often known as D-Day, the Western Allies launched the largest amphibious invasion in history to begin the final assault to end Hitler’s domination of Western Europe. This invasion, and the months that followed, resulted in the deaths of thousands of our military personnel before its successful conclusion. The loss of human life by the end of World War II was staggering.
On days like today and Memorial Day, let us humbly remember and appreciate those brave men and women, from all wars, who have given up their lives for our freedom, both here and around the world. Because of their valor, sense of duty, and love of country, they gave the ultimate price. As I often say, let us always honor their memory and let us live our lives in a way that is worthy of the sacrifice they have made for us. The 13th verse in John 15 reminds us, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for another.”
As I reflect upon this verse, I realize this “greater love,” does not just apply to our military heroes. Yes, they did give up their lives, not as mercenary soldiers, but as American citizens who answered their country’s call.
But, they are not the only citizens who have done this. Throughout our history, countless men and women have laid down their lives for their fellow man, and are continuing doing so today. These citizens include those in law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and medical personnel, to name just a few. Many of these citizens have demonstrated “no greater love” as much as our military heroes.
They also moved forward to save their fellow man when one’s natural inclination would be to turn and run. They have gone into desperate situations to save others, whether it be into burning buildings, risk of being shot or injured, or endangering their own life to help others , or in many other ways. Probably one of the noblest and most courageous examples of this, in our recent history, is those brave souls who responded to the World Trade Center disaster in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. And we see it today with those trying to help and save others from this pandemic disease that afflicts our land and this world.
We are fortunate to live in a country where we have always had, and continue to have, heroic citizens who are willing to demonstrate “no greater love” for their fellow man. It is all these citizens who have bravely demonstrated, by their actions, who have helped make our country great. With deep and humble gratitude, let us always remember and honor those from our land who have exemplified “no greater love.”
I will close with verses from the poem, “For the Fallen,” by Laurence Binyon, which I hope expresses how we all feel about our fallen heroes:
“They shall not grow old, as we left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
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