Let us cherish our American soldiers

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

by James Young 

I am thankful for the invitation to be your guest speaker today. It is a great honor to stand here on such an important day as this. I love the fact that the town of Boykins has chosen to honor our heroes in this special way. The Beechwood Cemetery is a beautiful place and a proud piece of Boykins history. Today we honor our brave American soldiers and fellow patriot citizens. I thank God for the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air force and Coast Guard. I thank God for our forefathers that have given of themselves. Many of their bodies have been laid to rest in this remarkable cemetery.

I love the words of the Marine Corps Hymn:

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;

We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.
Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev’ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job —
The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

I believe this hymn describes the fighting spirit of the American soldier. There is great honor and bravery found in the American soldier.

I like the mottos of each branch of our military.

• “This We’ll Defend” says the United States Army.

• “Always Ready” says the United States Coast Guard.

• “Honor, Courage, Commitment” says the United States Navy.

• “Aim High…Fly, Fight, Win” says the United States Air Force.

• “Always Faithful” says the United States Marine Corps.

The American soldier stands and will defend their nation to the death!

The American soldier stands and is always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice!

The American soldier stands to aim high and fight to win!

The American soldier stands and is always faithful in any climb and any place to lay their life on the line for you and me!

Thomas Jefferson said: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Shame on those in our country that have turned their backs upon our brave heroes! It is the vigilance and bravery of our heroes that have allowed us to live in freedom.

George Washington said: The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

God help us to love and cherish our American soldiers. I personally stand in awe of their great sacrifices. I stand in awe of their bravery. I am so thankful for their great sacrifices and in my heart they will never be forgotten.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— John McCrae, May 1915

When I think of Memorial Day I think about the American soldier. It reminds me of the great sacrifice that was made so that you and I can live and breathe in freedom. I think about the loving homes they left to go and fight in fierce conflicts. I think about loved ones they miss and may never see again. I think about the blood that was shed for their God, their families, and their country.

It reminds me of a son or a daughter that will not make it home alive. It reminds me of a flag draped over a casket and a family grieving over their great loss. Thank God for the American soldier.

It also reminds me of a soldier that comes home and will never be the same. I thank God when our soldiers come home and I thank God for those that died for our country. Thank God for the American soldier!

I am reminded that freedom is not free. The freedoms we enjoy were purchased by a soldier’s blood, sweat, and tears. The freedom we enjoy is here today because many fought and died on the battle field.

George Washington said: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

I say amen to this quote.

It does not surprise me that we have such brave heroes in America. America was founded by men and women that wanted to freely worship their God. I find in the Bible some thought-provoking verses.

Romans 5:6-8: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

We find in the American soldier similarities of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ died for those that could not save themselves. American soldiers have died so that others could be safe and live in freedom.

John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jesus died to offer us freedom from sin and a home in Heaven. The American soldier died to offer us freedom in our home called America. Our country has been great because our God is great.

When I think about the American soldier, I think about their loved ones on their knees in prayer. It reminds me of a mom, a dad, a sister, and a brother that miss their American soldier. This reminds me that our military needs our prayers. Only Heaven knows about the victories that were won, because there was a godly mother or father on their knees begging God for their son or daughter’s safety.

I love my country. I love the godly principle’s that is was founded upon. I love to see Old Glory waving high in the sky. Our flag reminds us of our godly heritage. Our flag reminds us of the great sacrifices that were made so that we could live in freedom.

John 15:13: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Make no mistake about it. One of the greatest friends you have is the American soldier. Thank God for their sacrifices. Their sacrifices meant something and their sacrifices are to be honored and treasured in the heart of every true patriot American.

My prayer today is that God would bless America. Today I applaud you as patriot citizens of the United States of America. We should be proud of our rich godly heritage. Here in Boykins, Virginia, we can do our part to ensure that America stays strong and honorable.

In memory of our flag and all the troops that have served her I salute you today.

May God bless the USA.

JAMES YOUNG is pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Boykins.