“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration aired a video1 interview with Captain Donna C. Rowe, U.S. Army nurse veteran who ran a triage unit in the 3rd Field Hospital, Saigon during the height of the Vietnam War. She spoke, in part, of the sacrifices made by young military personnel in the line of duty. Her story captivated my attention. It reminded me of the gut-wrenching fear that gripped me when my brother left to serve in Vietnam as a member of the U. S. Air Force. Captain Rowe and my brother served part of their tours during the same time period.
My family welcomed my brother home one year later with a sense of relief. Many others were not so lucky. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports 47,434 military service members lost their lives in battle during the Vietnam War (1964-1975).2 Each number represents a person who sacrificed their life in the line of duty. Every war before or since adds to the number. Each fallen soldier represents a family that has lost a loved one.
In light of the grief families of fallen soldiers endure, consider the depth of grief our Father endured when His Son gave His life for our eternal lives. Christian grandparents are called to teach younger generations about Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, beginning on the day they are born and continuing until the day we leave this world. This is our greatest duty.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Our nation observes Memorial Day annually on the last Monday in May to honor the men and women represented by these statistics. Their sacrifices demonstrate the greatest love a human can give. As grandparents, we are to teach younger generations to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy as a result.
This year, make a point to teach your grandchildren to honor the men and women who gave all they could to secure our freedom. More importantly, I encourage you to demonstrate gratitude to the One who did what no other man is capable of doing: granting eternal life to all who put their faith in Him.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)