A MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE

Defenders of the Faith,

Surfing the Net for news, as I do each, I came across this paragraph of interest. "During his trip to Europe in early May, President Bush will commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day -- Victory in Europe Day -- at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, near Maastricht, on May 8. He is then scheduled to travel to Moscow, where Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War is celebrated on May 9, to participate in another World War II commemoration ceremony," writes Washington File Staff Writer, Jeffrey Thomas.

In America, Victory in Europe was first celebrated May 8, 1945 as the result of the capitulation of Germans forces to the United States, and our Allies, on that very day. Recently, the Department of State issued the following remarks, “The generation of the Second World War has been called the “greatest generation”. Perhaps that is because they were called upon to face so much. It has been sixty years since the end of the war and the events are receding into the landscape of memory.” Well, I for one do not believe that we can allow that to happen, not in our lifetime. And not in the lifetime of anyone born in the 21st century, when the freedoms, rights and privileges we enjoy today are the direct result of the battles they fought so fiercely in the yesterdays of their usurped youth. Perhaps one hundred years from now the “Great War to End All War” will be a memory on the rocky landscape of history. But for now, and for as long as I am alive, I will hold the conviction that our mighty veterans deserve much more from us than to allow them a quiet recession into oblivion.

And as destiny would have it, while the President is flying around the world to celebrate our 60 year old WWII victory in Europe, here at home, I discovered we are also celebrating National Prayer Day. What cosmic conjoining! I always say, "I believe in coincidences, I've just never seen one!" Well, the simultaneous celebration of these two national commemorations is certainly no coincidence to me. The way I see it, we can use National Prayer Day to ask for the wisdom to end war for all time, or we can solemnly pray for the constant protection of all our veterans, past and present and future. Either way, the greater purpose of VE Day celebrations around the world will be reinvigorated by the spiritual power of prayer.

So, in closing, let me ask you this: when was the last time you hugged a veteran? In other words, when did you last give thought to the liberties of democracy you enjoy in America in 2005? And how often do you give thanks, realizing those liberties were actually guaranteed by our veteran’s victory in Europe back in 1945? And when was the last time you thanked one of the brave men and women who helped this victory to happen? 

Today, I ask you to think about all those veterans in VA hospitals nearing the end of their lives. This week, as they look back over the days, months or even years they spent as a vital part of the war effort, they are wondering if anybody still cares about the sacrifice they made. They wonder if anyone even remembers them. 

Please visit a veteran! Recently the Veteran’s Administration awarded me The Silver Merit Award for 10, 0000 hours spent at the bedside of dying veterans. There is one thing I do know after all that time at the bedside of our nation’s true heroes and heroines; I know they need you to come see them. I also know they need your prayers. For as time comes to a close for many of them, they need your loving thoughts and prayers, more than ever. Please keep them close to your heart, for without them, only God knows where we would be today.

Below is an article from the VAnguard Magazine (March/April 2005). Please read it and while you do understand that May 30th is the first anniversary of my father’s transition. I would like everyone to think of my dad in the moment of silence the article writes about. Within that moment I would also ask that we rededicate ourselves to honoring those who have served this country so valiantly as well as appreciating those who are serving courageously at this time. And together, let us pray we find a way to stop the insanity we call war. 

With love and purpose,

Dannion Brinkley

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