Summary: Melvin Newland (Brownsvill Christian church) laid the Groundwork for this one, This is what I ended up with including an order of service and song selections. preached at a veteran’s day service. I have stood on the shoulders of Giants... Thanks Melvi


(A sermon by Reverend Melvin Newland … reworked by Brian C. Byers

Freedom and forgiveness are never free, Reverend Melvin Newland in points out that there is always a price that has to be paid for both.

I trust that most of you realize that Tuesday was Veteran’s Day, & that throughout this nation & around the world, wherever our nation’s flag flies, people paused to remember the price that has been paid for the freedoms that we enjoy.

We set a national holiday for our veterans, but who is a veteran?

(illustration found on sermon central website)

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose bad behavior is outweighed sc by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She--or he--is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another--or didn’t come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat--but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory

of all the anonymous heroes whose valor die unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket--palsied now and aggravatingly slow—

who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country,

and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing less than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

For just a moment I’d like to have all of our Veterans who are present with us today stand up.

Would you please?

folks as our countrymen are standing, remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say, "Thank you."

That’s all most people need, and in most cases, it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot: "THANK YOU." We are grateful

ILL. On Nov. 19, 1863, Pres. Abraham Lincoln stood on the battlefield at Gettysburg to dedicate a portion of that land as a national cemetery.

Lincoln spoke simply & clearly, & startled the people by the briefness of his remarks.

Now folks, I realize that most of you are already familiar with what he said, but would you listen again to a portion of it? After his opening sentences, he said:

"We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting & proper that we should do this.

"But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.

The brave men, living & dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.

"It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us –

that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion –

that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,

& that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Gettysburg does not stand alone in our memory.

Time would fail if I tried to mention to mention such places as Valley Forge, Flanders Field, Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Pork Chop Hill, Hamburger hill, Normandy Beach, Panama, Granada, the Mekong, & Desert Storm, Viet Nam, Korea, Afganistan, Bagdad …

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