6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermon Illustrations

3. On Sunday morning, October 23, 1983, terrorist bombed the Marine barracks in Beirut. Hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept. Many of us can still recall the terrible scenes as the dazed survivors worked to dig out their trapped brothers from beneath the rubble. A few days after the tragedy, Marine Corps Commandant Paul Kelly, visited some of the wounded survivors then in a Frankfurt, Germany, hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, who had been severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man; yet he survived. As Commandant Kelly got to him, Corporal Nashton, motioned for a pen and piece of paper. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were two words-- "Semper Fi" the Latin motto of the Marines meaning, "forever faithful." With those two simple words Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country -- those who have remained faithful. (James Dobson & Gary Bauer, Children at Risk, Word, 1990, pp. 187)