Memorial Day Service: Lenora, Kansas Sunday May 26, 2019
Invocation: I want to thank everyone for coming. I want to express appreciation for all who has made it possible for us be able to join together to remember those who paid the ultimate price with their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. For this day is set aside to remember and honor those who died serving our country, those who did not get to take off the uniform.
Pennie and I rode our motorcycle into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – as we rode into the city you could feel the cost, lives lost, the sobering feeling of the reality of the bloodshed of sons, fathers, husbands, the brave men who died in battle. I would like to share the words of President Lincoln who wrote in what is believed to be the second draft of the Gettysburg’s Address, which is owned by the Library of Congress. President Lincoln wrote, “It is fitting and proper that we should do this…” To do what, to take time to honor those who have died serving our country.
Let us Pray: “Lord we want to thank you for giving us this day to honor those who have died for the freedoms we enjoy. I want to thank you for all who has done the hard work of getting everything in order so we may honor your soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, men and woman whom you had raised up to fight for us. May your Holy Spirit be in every Memorial Day service being held this week. In Jesus Name I pray.”
Message: Those who have taken time to do the hard work of study and research have come to understand what one of America's Founding fathers, John Jay, knew – “After careful investigation along with fair reasoning of the whole of Scripture, which record institutions, declarations, and interpositions of the Almighty God, one can only determine that war is as lawful today as in the day of Abraham.” This is especially true in a nation with the motto, “In God We Trust.”
In the Book of Psalms, (Psalm 83:1-8) there is a description of nations whom will always have hostility toward the people who believe in God. There has been from Biblical times to the present day, the necessity of battles and war to protect a people whose desire is to live out what is good and right, protection from those whose desire to be dictators and tyrants. General George Washington said, "One of the best ways to keep peace is to be prepared for war."
From Biblical times to the present, there has been and will be those who pay the ultimate sacrifice – their lives in battle. Just as King David took time and told the people he ruled over to remember those who have fallen in battle (2 Samuel 1:17) – we are told in the Bible to give honor to those who deserve honor. (Romans 13:7)
The Words of Abraham Lincoln, “It is fitting a proper we should…” honor those who have fallen in battle. There are true accounts of fallen soldiers which should be shared about on the nightly news which long surpass the media’s coverage of the upcoming elections. It would be good for Americans to be reminded, especially in May, which is Military Appreciation month to hear daily of the lives sacrificed for our freedoms which out ways covering issues of the day of confusion over sexuality and good morals. The media and especially social media would be better off they would set their focus on brave men and women who are being awarded with medals of valor, which overshadow the Grammy’s, The Oscar’s and the Bill Board awards.
According to the U.S Department of Affairs, Memorial Day is not only to commemorate those who have died in battle, but to give honor to those who live with the scars of battle received in seasons of war. I think of Buck Doyle, a gunnery sergeant in the U.S Marines Corps. He stood in a snipers direct line of fire in order to help a close friend, Sgt. Nick Walsh, who had just been hit by the sniper’s bullet, while Sgt. Walsh was being drug to safety.
There is the account of Cpl. Kyle Carpenter who received the Medal of Honor for jumping on a grenade to save his friend while in combat in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. His wounds were countless shattered bones throughout the body, shrapnel in both legs, carotid artery in neck punctured, he lost most of his teeth, had a collapsed right lung, lost most of his jaw, lost vision in right eye, he had brain surgery to remove shrapnel, had a fractured skull, and he flat-lined three times.
Much of his body suffered from the effects of the blast, there was a tattoo on his right side which was untouched, stating Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”
During a Fox and Friends interview, Cpl. Kyle Carpenter was asked about his tattoo. Listen to his reply: “My fellow Marines and I understand the mortal nature of the profession, and my faith is important to me. This absolutely pertained to me and my fellow Marines that were going to be to the right and the left, fighting day in and day out. We all understood that there was a good chance that many of us were not going to make it back.”
Jesus said, there will be wars and rumors of war until the end. (Matthew 24:6) There will be those who will not make it back and there will be those who suffer the physical and mental scars of war. President Lincoln’s statement is as true today as it was at the Gettysburg’s Address, “It is fitting and proper [we should honor them].” Make time and effort to show compassion to families who have lost loved ones, fighting for the United States of America. Be creative in helping and assisting those who live with the physical scars of severing in the Armed Forces. Thanks for listening and make time to thank a veteran of the Armed Forces.
Benediction: Army Ranger, Captian Russle Rippetoe valiantly gave his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He had earned the “Bronze Star” and the “Purple Heart.” While his body was laid to rest, his father Lieutenant Colonel Joe Rippetoe gave a farewell solute after a passage of Scripture, which was engraved on his dog tags was read. It was a promise given to Joshua, the commander of the Lord’s army, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee.” Captain Russell Rippetoe joined a noble company of service and sacrifice of men and women who were strong and courageous and did not back off of their call and duty to the United States of America.
Let us pray: “Father, we thank you for all who gave their lives in service to our country. May you give comfort to all who have lost loved ones. Move your Holy Spirit to do what we cannot do. Guide them, provide for them and watch over all our military families. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.