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Memorial Day – More than Mere Memory

U S Army Air Force/8th Air Force/2nd Air Division/14th Bomb Wing/492nd Bomb Group

This picture is one of my absolute  favorites.  This is the U S Army Air Force/8th Air Force/2nd Air Division/14th Bomb Wing/492nd Bomb Group.  The main reason I love this photograph is that front and center is the top turret gunner.  He is also my grandfather.  Gerald M. Campbell is a living hero.  Bravery and sacrifice are incompetent words when describing the service my grandfather gave for this great nation.  Of course, I didn’t understand all this when I was a child.  I never heard him mention a word about his experience until I was 25 years old.  Even then, he was brief in his recollections and it was only addressed because I asked him about the ball cap he wore, decorated and noting his service group information.  I can’t imagine the horror he faced, the depths of despair at the loss of his fellow servicemen, his friends.  For more information about my grandfather’s missions, please visit: http://www.492ndbombgroup.com/cgi-bin/pagepilot.cgi?page=showCrewPage&crewPage=708-Gossett&crewTitle=Gossett+708

What is also horrifying is the fact that my grandfather’s tremendous sacrifice is so often forgotten.  To say that Veterans, current servicemen and women are taken for granted would be a understatment of insurmountable proportion.  They leave their parents, siblings, friends, homes, and country soil to live in often, harsh, foreign conditions.  Rather than their comfortable beds they trade for sterile bunks.  Family dinners are replaced with cafeteria-style meetings.  They watch their friends die only to wonder if they will be next.  They must attempt to, somehow, shut these painful experiences away, trying desperately to focus on the mission at hand.  However, they have to keep some memories at hand; they need to remember what they are fighting for

Ultimately, our freedom is blessed by Almighty God.  But, people have lost sight of where our rights begin and end.  They begin with God and end with Him, as well.  When we forget what the meaning of life is and reduce time on this earth as mere chance and games, we risk our freedom.  This isn’t a game of dice.  Forrest Gump’s mother got it wrong when she told her son that “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what your gonna get.”  Some things are certain, life and death.  And when we forsake the Creator of the universe, we forsake our national and eternal freedoms.  This is what IIChronicles says,

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and will heal their land.”

Throughout history many have spoken of freedom.    America’s forefathers specified our rights, certain “inalienable” rights; those being the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  And even they understood that these rights were solely granted by God.  Our nation will remain under God.  Whether people like it or not, God is the author and creator of freedom.  He will only bless and protect a nation when we, as a whole, acknowledge His authority.  You see, though, He is and always will be over all, He gives us the freedom to decide if we want to live as such.  Ironic isn’t it?  The One who grants us the freedom to choose the direction of our life is the One who holds the world in His hands.  The One who has ultimate say and control, chooses to relinquish His right to exercise all power over us, in favor for giving us the ability to choose a life served for Him or a life served for ourselves.  John 3:16 isn’t just the backdrop, poster board you see at football games.  Read the power in this verse, “For God, so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  It does not say, “God, who has all power and authority (which is true!) deemed that ALL humanity will serve Him.”  He didn’t create robots.  He created  human beings with a will.  We can choose freedom in Christ or slave to self.  He, alone, grants us that right.  

So many freedoms. 

One God. 

Two choices; one leads to life, the other eternal separation from our Creator.

What do you choose?

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