Hats off to our veterans

Joan Clayton

Tuesday has been designated Veterans Day. Words fail me as I try to express my gratitude to those who sacrificed so much. I think every day is a day to honor these heroes!
Some soldier paid the price for me to have freedom in this beloved nation, that I might have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Some soldier gave his all to enable me to freely worship an Almighty God.
Freedom is a precious thing and to take it for granted results in losing it. My hat and heart go out to veterans. Their courage and sacrificial service defies description.
In John 15:13 you will find the epitome of unselfish love: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Many a soldier lost his life while trying to save the life of his fellow soldiers.
That is love and unselfishness in its truest form.
Some servicemen and servicewomen were prisoners of war, and for some, that imprisonment lasted for years. It comforts me to know that Bible verses they had learned as children sustained them. Their indestructible faith in God enabled them to die, if necessary, to protect our freedoms.
I am reminded of this when I see “Old Glory” waving proudly. I feel a lump in my throat and a tear on my cheek whenever I hear our national anthem.
I wonder if we appreciate the fact that our young men, in the prime of their lives, fought to the end to preserve our country.
Their lives being interrupted, leaving loved ones and experiencing extreme hardships had to bring the worst kind of pain. If you have ever been to the Arlington National Cemetery, you cannot hold back the tears. Row after row of little white crosses speak volumes.
As any veteran will tell you, “War is horrible.” Yet keeping America free was — and is — worth dying for in the eyes of these brave people.
I have heard many times “there are no atheists in foxholes.” The Star Spangled Banner, adopted by Congress in 1931, states in its final verse: “Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto, ‘In God is our Trust.’”
Our national motto, adopted officially by Congress on July 20, 1956, is “In God We Trust.” That trust has guided many a soldier who found himself or herself far from home. The same trust has kept many a veteran today.
Thank God for a nation founded on biblical principles. Thank God for those who were willing to sacrifice for you and me.
Someone has said: “It is the soldier who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag!”
Do you know a veteran? Tell them thank-you for their part in making this country the greatest place on earth.
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her
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