Standing on a small platform, a reader calls out names, “Michael Hyde. Donald Jackson. Jose Munoz.” The names being read were those engraved on “The Wall.” No one calls it anything else. It was once highly controversial. This was not a statue, no soldier on horseback, but a black granite gash in the earth containing the names of 58,183 men, each name representing on dead or missing man from the Vietnam War. (Jonesboro Sun, p.4a)
This past Veteran’s Day marked the 24th anniversary of the erection of this monument to the great and gallant men who fought in defense of their country, in an effort to stem the tide of communism; the men who bravely stood, offering the sweat of their brow and the blood of their bodies – standing as a wall between the evil empire and their families back home, praying they would be able to stop its advance before those back home had to suffer.
President Eisenhower took office in 1953, at a time of great international tension. Communism’s influence seemed to be expanding everywhere. Secretary John Foster Dulles, articulated the now famous Domino Theory. He said that if the Soviets could get a foothold in the peninsula of Indochina, if that area fell to their domination, the world would follow.
America took a stand. John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address said America would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty” (Vietnam, p28).
Jesus charged you and I to do the same in Matthew 5:13 when He said, “You are the salt of the earth.” In this one statement, Jesus commissioned you and I to take the same stand, make the same sacrifices, as the men whose names are written on the wall.