Letters From War
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A few weeks ago, I took a journey to my statehouse in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Columbus, OH to survey the area for the possible placement of a Ten Commandments monument. With the recent history of acknowledgements of God being removed from the public square I was particularly sensitive to monuments and remembrances of God's governing hand in our nation's affairs. Our great seal was emblazoned with the words, "With God All Things Are Possible." There was a quote from William McKinley stating, "Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors and like blessings to all the peoples and the powers of the earth." There was even a monument dedicated to "The Unknown Boy Scout, 1910-1935 in England whose good turn brought scouting to millions of American Boys." It was dedicated in a time when states still built monuments to honor the Boy Scouts.
On the East side were two Ohio limestone monuments which contain actual inscribed letters written by soldiers to their family and loved ones. The letters are from soldiers who have fought in various conflicts and wars that America has been involved in. I feel it is important to remember those who have fought to preserve our freedom and have fought for our freedom to acknowledge God. Here are some of the letters written by these brave soldiers and their acknowledgements of God while enduring the trials of war:
"My Dearest, Darling Judy,
Writing to you on this day is the best way I know how to celebrate. Being with you at the close of war in Europe would be the highest and most glorious thing I could hope for. Today is VE day and everyone is celebrating but me. I will spend it in church and darling, my glory making will be held when I am once again back with the one I love YOU. That will be my victory day. I am on the Western Coast of England. As I look out across the ocean, I strain my eyes trying to see the states.
Midnight, Darling. I am staying with that family. I told you how swell they've been to me. The whole city is lit up. I overheard a little boy ask his mother, "Mum, what are all these lights?" She could not answer because her eyes were full of tears. My thanks to you, my family, your family, and especially to God."
"To My Journal:
The terrain here is beautiful. The ocean is right close, spacious rice paddies, towering mountain ranges and green jungle. The sunsets and sunrises are a work of art by God's hand. Even though the enemy is near, there is a peaceful feeling here.
Yesterday, on recon we walked through part of a hamlet I'd never been in before. It was like Alice's Wonderland: Villagers in rice paddies planting shoots. Irrigating, some cutting, and bundling new rice shoots to be transported to the watery paddies. A section of paddy was set aside to grow purple orchids that were beautiful. In the trees, the trails were like walking through a fantasy forest.
I can but realize the terrible ordeal you went through yesterday. I thanked God a thousand times one of those bombs did not hit the hospital. I was in the powder magazine in charge of an ammunition detail when the first bomb hit. My dear, you don't know how much I worried yesterday, not knowing if you were OK.
I know you have to work without sleep and must be tired to death. I'm damned proud of you nurses. You are a real soldier and I am trying to be one. I hear some planes roaring overhead, but I think they're ours. Pray to God we get back home again. I love you.
Be careful, Dear
My first time on night guard. I saw men moving up on us. I saw one man pointing a gun at me. Then it came, artillery in close, coming closer. The man pointing the gun never went down. I found out the next day it was a fence post with a board nailed on.
That was the night I learned how to tell by the sound of a shell how and where it will land. With artillery shells you have plenty of time to take cover. Mortar is heard a split second before it hits. Many a man was killed by mortar for that reason. But during an attack both mortar and artillery is falling. All you can do is ask God for guidance and keep moving ahead. That way, most falls to your rear.
In battle a man is an ostrich. I once hid behind a little bush, and felt as safe as I do now. A Bush means as much to an 88 as a grape being crushed between your fingers.
Prayers were answered when the chemicals used became ineffective as the wind changed and they blew back on Iraqi troops. How Astounding! I am here to give Glory to God. I became very disheartened during all of this and wondered would I ever see America again. How are we going to get home. Perhaps on the wings of ANGELS.
While we do not always have visible monuments representing what God has done for us in America or what others have done to protect our freedom, in some cases we do have living remembrances. We have to begin honoring those who have fought and are fighting for our freedom to acknowledge God. We can start in our own family. Perhaps we can sit down with our father or grandfather who has served in the military and ask them to tell us their stories. With roughly 1,100 WWII veterans dying each day, we are losing our bridge to the greatest generation. Let's begin this journey together to remember our past and the abundant providences of God. May we become our own family historians and begin to restore the ancient landmarks. May we also pray for our troops and their families, thank them for their sacrifices and pray that they will be kept from harm, perhaps on the wings of ANGELS.
Nicholas A. Jackson
Nick is Executive Director of Reform America, a non-profit Christian organization based in Columbus, OH. In addition, he spends time as a free-lance writer articulating the Christian viewpoint into our culture. "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:12
Website: www.reformamerica.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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