This morning Ericka and I drove to Hettinger, North Dakota, to attend a Memorial Day event held in the museum on the south end of town. We arrived about fifteen minutes early, but the big Quonset was already pretty crowded. We managed to find seats, though, at a table right next to a bright red, fifty-something GMC fire truck. This was really nice except,to see much, we were obliged to peek around a huge picture of Teddy Roosevelt, which was ingeniously fastened to some sort of antique grain mill.
The program started with a very good prayer spoken by a man who had done two tours of duty in Vietnam. The men’s choir group called the Borderline Singers then sang the anthems of all the branches of the military, and those present from the various branches stood and were applauded. After several speeches and the official placing of a wreath, the program ended with a twenty-one gun salute given by the American Legion Color Guard, standing just outside the big open door to the east.
It was a good day. I felt it a privilege just to sit there among so many good, Godly and patriotic people- friends, neighbors and family who had taken time out of their lives to honor and, in effect, to say thank you to all those who have given their lives in defense of this, our great and precious homeland.
America is called a free country. Our people are free firstly because of our Christian culture where people know and respect the Ten Commandments. In a society where the keeping of these commandments is woven into the very fabric of the culture, one lives in freedom from his life being taken, or property being stolen. He can speak his mind and is not forced to violate his conscience. His wife and children are free to go about in safety, his good name is protected and all authority is rightly honored and respected. He is also free to do the work he chooses to support his family and to build for his future.
Secondly, America is free because we are ruled not by kings or elites or even majorities, but rather by law, which basically says to do all you say you will do and not to encroach on another person or his property. All are equal under the law and even the government is kept from overstepping its authority by the chains of the Constitution.
One does not have to look far to realize that both our Christian heritage and our Constitutional government are under severe attack. Many people no longer even understand what their country is about or why peace, freedom and prosperity abound here, as opposed to the violence, tyranny and oppression found in most of the rest of the world.
Actions have consequences. On this Memorial Day, when thinking about the human suffering endured and the extreme sacrifice that so many have made to make our country great and free, one wonders now if this generation can hold on to that freedom, or will we, in ignorance and self-indulgence, just hand it over to the robbers and the killers and the enslavers.
As we live and work on this beautiful land and care for our wonderful cattle, let us say a prayer of thanks for all the heroes that have gone before, and ask the Lord also to preserve our nation, and to continue blessing us with the peace and freedom and prosperity we so enjoy from His loving hand.