M.H. Braden once wrote, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. It has, is and will be always so. It is the collective results of our individual efforts which determine whether or not we let freedom ring. As individuals, we may choose to abdicate our God-given right to choose and to doubt. However, if we are to guarantee the next and succeeding generations of our brethren in this and other Israel nations the same freedom of choice which previous generations have guaranteed us, then, we, as individuals, must be willing to make the same sacrifice to defend the freedom inherent in this God-given right.”

Each year at this time we try to write something to express our great love and gratitude to those who gave their all so we might continue as free nations. Today it’s difficult for most citizens of the Israel nations to grasp the enormity of the two world wars, probably because the number of veterans who served as a lasting testimony has dwindled to such small numbers. Yet, those wars were wars of tremendous sacrifice and almost every family of Anglo-Saxondom felt the pangs of the loss of a loved one. I still vividly recall that as a boy, I saw my father cry for the first time as news of a death was relayed to him. I too felt sadness as I saw once vibrant young men returning in such incapacitating ways. Most readers of the same era will surely have similar memories. Yet, our nations were fighting for the greatest cause of all, freedom from great dictator nations determined to enslave the world. The cause of our warriors, I think, can best be summed up by quoting these words from the Scottish Declaration of Independence, “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

We have had regional wars since the great conflicts, Korea, Viet Nam and now Iraq, to name just some, and admittedly, to many the reasons are somewhat foggy. Still, there is one certainty, our young men and women did and still are laying their lives on the line to let freedom ring. Sadness overcomes when so many return in body bags, or return incapacitated , mentally or physically, but we humbly honour their sacrifice in the cause of liberty. And we pray for the shattered families who must live with the loss or incapacitation of a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife or a parent. May God touch them with His healing hand and lift their great burden.

I encourage you to read the poem on page 36. It is a heartrending journey through the past century. You know, as I was penning this tribute to our fallen ones, I could not help but think of one line of another poem, one in R.W. Lillard’s answer to Colonel John McCrea’s “In Flander’s Fields.” He wrote, “And freedom’s light shall never die.” In a way, those of us who have never donned a uniform or held a rifle in defense of our country are still warriors, with a responsibility to make the same sacrifice to defend freedom. We have not done as good as job as those who went to war in far-off nations. As Christian soldiers, we have too often watched as the enemy has taken one freedom after another from our Christian values and freedom of thought and replaced these with a new reality, one that is acceptable to Satan, the commander in chief of the counterfeit kingdom. We know that our Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ, will soon arrive and return these freedoms , but , perhaps it’s time for Christians everywhere to draw a line in the sand and say, “no more, we must guarantee the next and succeeding generations of our brethren in our Israel nations the same freedom of choice which previous generations guaranteed us.” Colonel McCrea threw out the challenge when he wrote these words:

Take up the quarrel with the foe
To you, from falling hands we throw
The torch – be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields