Monday, November 11, 2013

"Lest We Forget" Day--a Gentle Reminder to the Human Race Collectively

Veteran's Day has always been pretty special to our family because both the Parks and the Swisher sides of our immediate family's heritage is steeped in the military.  My precious Uncle Bob served in World War II and my own dad served in the Korean Conflict.  Roy's father also served in the Korean Conflict and Roy, his sister Elsie, and brother Dennis all came in at the end of the Vietnam Era.  Each year we applaud our Veterans, enjoy the free or discounted food from our favorite restaurants, and take advantage of the tremendous Veteran's Day sales at this store or that.

Poppies Worn in Remembrance
This year, however,  Roy and I had the pleasure of spending our four day Veteran's weekend on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.  Most of our time was spent in Victoria--I will give you a "play by play" later.  All weekend, I saw little transparent plastic boxes filled with poppies and a slot for a monetary donation sitting on counters in most businesses around the Island.  Seeing the dedication of our Canadian neighbors to honoring their fallen and their past and present service men and women, made the meaning of this day be a little sharper to me personally.

"Lest We Forget" Wreath and Canadian Flag

Of course, every church that I have ever attended adds a special recognition of servicemen to the service on the Sunday prior to Veteran's Day on Monday.  Canada is not any different.  We were blessed to
be greeted warmly by many in attendance at the Central Baptist Church in Victoria.  I have never met friendlier people nor people who voiced more appreciation for the sacrifice of the veterans, both past and present, of Canada nor for the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus who died for our sins.  The service was so spiritually moving including the Praise and Worship team who led us in worship, the two-man team who made the announcements fun and not boring, the ceremonial recognition of the Royal Canadian military branches,  and the wonderful sermon of the minister.   Always refreshing to see how other churches function as to organization and program, it is equally interesting to view their celebrations!

We left this beautiful place sometimes referred to as "little London" about 4:00 Sunday afternoon knowing that we as a human race--me, as a member, in particular-- tend(s) to forget those who served in past wars unless it is a personal acquaintance, or we forget those who's lives have been "blown apart" by the ravages of our more current wars unless someone keeps the Wounded Warriors in our line of vision, and it is easy to ignore the problems of suicide, high rates of divorce and the scammers or human parasites that prey on our young military especially unless it raises our righteous indignation or unless "Soldier Care" becomes a personal mission.  So, I am so glad to be reminded at least one time per year, lest I forget that freedom does not come cheap!  Thanks to all of our Veterans who had the stamina to keep plodding on even when the struggles were too great to humanly bear or they died trying!  I promise not to forget!