Honor, Respect, and Freedom by Carolyn Tucker


Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker



Those who served their Country and died in the battle for freedom deserve every ounce of honor and respect we can give them. Audie Murphy’s classic war memoir, “To Hell and Back,” graphically paints the grim picture of war. In the book’s foreward, Tom Brokaw states that he had researched many WWII combat veterans and had never learned of anyone involved in so much up close and personal fighting as Audie Murphy. He was a courageous Texan warrior of valor who deeply cared about his fellow soldiers, their safety, and their united mission.


I’m embarrassed to confess that I didn’t know who Audie Murphy was until 2013. He was the most-decorated soldier of WWII. I didn’t know that — according to my heart, I thought it was my dad. And that’s the way every daughter should feel about her father’s exploits of military service.


Dad was in the thick of things (Battle of the Bulge cleanup, etc.) in Germany from 1944-46, so I’ve studied some of the famous campaigns in the European Theater. General George S. Patton wasn’t particularly loved by every soldier, nevertheless, he was gifted with a brilliant military mind. “Blood and Guts Patton” did the planning and his fighting men determined to bravely carry it out. He did what others said couldn’t be done.


It appears that Memorial Day is lost on the majority of Americans who are pursuing their dreams and enjoying their freedom. It’s not just a sunny holiday to celebrate the beginning of summer. It was no picnic to sleep in a foxhole in freezing weather and snow. Dad told me that there were no athiests in foxholes because everybody prayed and called on God. Some veterans survived the war and some didn’t. Civilians have no idea how bad it was — and I fear that many Americans don’t care. That makes me extremely sad.


I’m reminded of an old hymn entitled, “Lead Me to Calvary” with lyrics by Jennie Evelyn Hussey. “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine Agony. Lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.” If we don’t remember on purpose the important highlights in life, the memory sadly fades through the years. Memorial Day is an annual opportunity to contemplate and honor our military loved ones and strangers for their ultimate sacrifice. Why do we, as a Nation, have to stand for what’s right and fight? Because that’s what Jesus did when He died on the cruel cross of Calvary. He willingly died and rose triumphantly so others could have an abundant life now and then live eternally with Him.


“Then He [God] will judge disputes between nations and settle arguments between many people. They will hammer their swords into plow blades and their spears into pruning shears. Nations will never fight against each other, and they will never train for war again” (Isaiah 2:4 GW). One day, firepower and military strategies won’t be needed. But until then, we owe a great debt to our military heroes who left behind a great Nation under God. What shall we do with our freedom? Let’s not take it for granted,  squander it foolishly, nor live carelessly. Let‘s honor and respect the brave men and women who selflessly gave their lives for the benefit of others. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT).


The Key: Enjoy your freedom and give honor and respect to those who made it possible.

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