A pastor stood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and watched as a man in tears lay a wreath at the base of the memorial. The pastor put his hand on the man’s shoulder, and the man said, “Twenty-five years ago he stepped into the line of fire for me, the least I can do is say, ‘Thanks.’”
“However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.” — Douglas MacArthur
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”— President Ronald Reagan
“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”—Ronald Reagan
“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”—John Adams
“[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”—John Adams
Every day when the sun rises over Washington DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, where these words are inscribed: Laus Deo, Latin for “Praise be to God.” This compact prayer of praise, visible to the eyes of heaven alone, is tacit recognition of our nation’s unique acknowledgment of the place of God in its founding and its continuance.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the flag
That flew over valley forge
Was torn in two by the gray and blue
And bled through two world wars.
I give you the flag that burned in the street
In protest, in anger and shame,
The very same flag that covered the men
Who died defending her name.
We now stand together, Americans all,
Either by choice or by birth
To honor the flag that’s flown on the moon
And changed the face of the earth.
In 1854 The United States Congress said, “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in our schools.”
Source: Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 108th Congress
After decades of service to his country in both war and peace, George Washington completed his second term as president. In his Farewell Address to the nation he wrote: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labour to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests—and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning— and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there.
During World War II a young soldier named David Webster of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne wrote his mother: "Stop worrying about me. I joined the parachutists to fight. I intend to fight. If necessary, I shall die fighting, but don’t worry about this because no war can be won without young men dying. Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice."
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”—Thomas Jefferson
Source: The Chautauquan, Volume 5, Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle
A chaplain was ministering to a soldier in the hospital and said, “You have lost an arm in the great cause.”
The soldier replied, “I didn't lose it—I gave it.”
Jesus did not lose His life either. He willingly gave it for us so we could be reconciled to God.
Source: The Minister’s Manual, Gerard Benjamin Fleet Hallock
The following words are inscribed on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier: “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.”
If America remembers her unknown soldiers, think of the celebration that awaits countless servants of God who are relatively unknown on earth when they reach Heaven’s gates.
Ten days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, residents of North Platte, Nebraska heard a rumor that soldiers from their town, part of the Nebraska National Guard Company D, would be coming through on a troop train on their way to the West Coast. About five hundred people showed up at the train depot with food, gifts, letters, and love to give the boys.
When asked how well the word patriotic describes them, the following
percentages of Americans answered “very well”:
Of all respondents: 53%
Ages 18-34: 35%
Ages 35-49: 44%
Ages 50-59: 67%
Ages 60+: 77%
Source: American Demographics, July 1, 2001
One of our ambassadors to a foreign country said, “You have invited me to tell you about the duties of an ambassador. Let me begin by telling you first of the embassy, the place where we live. The embassy is a little spot of America set down in an alien land. On the walls we have pictures of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E.
I live under His heavens,
The nations are under His authority,
My destiny is under His direction,
My past is under His grace,
My future is under His control,
My cares are under His wing,
My sin is under the blood!
Here are excerpts from all fifty state constitutions:
“We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.”
“We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land…”
“We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.”
Sign posted in the Army recruiting office: “Marry a veteran, girls. He can cook, make beds, sew, and is already used to taking orders.”
The Fourth of July weekend was approaching, and Miss Pelham, the nursery school teacher, took the opportunity to tell her class about patriotism. “We live in a great country,” she announced. “One of the things we should be happy about is that, in this country, we are all free.”
Trevor, who was a little boy in her class, came walking up to her from the back of the room. He stood with his hands on his hips and said loudly, “I'm not free. I'm four.”
A little 7-year-old boy named Alex was staring at a large plaque in the church foyer. The plaque was covered with names and small American flags. As Alex looked at it, his pastor walked up and said, “Good morning Alex.”
Alex said, “Pastor, what it this?”
“Well, it is a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.” Soberly, they stood together staring at the plaque.
In a tender voice Alex asked, “Which service, the 8:30 or the 11:00?”