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Faith's Firm Foundation: Thankful To Our Veterans For Our Freedoms

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful To Our Veterans For Our Freedoms

Last Thursday, November 11, was Veterans Day, as you know.  Is it possible we have not done enough to thank and honor those who have fought on our behalf, obtaining the freedoms which we take so for granted?  An event on Saturday night made me give this some serious thought.
The mayor of the small town in which our church meets expressed it best when he stood and said, "I got out of the service 41 years ago, and no one has ever done what was done here tonight for me!" and he broke down in tears as he spoke.

What was done?  Well, I can tell you our church hosted a Dinner and invited veterans in the area and a guest of their choice to be our honored guests.  I can tell you that a catered delicious dinner was served, and honor and appreciation was expressed through words and music, and genuine thankfulness.  I can tell you that about 20 young men and women, all dressed up and looking very classy in black and white, young women in dresses, young men in white shirts and ties, served the catered meal to the veterans and their guests (the young people ate later, but with church people and servers, there were about 100 people in all), seated at 9 beautiful tables, adorned with roses and candles, each set with white tablecloths.

Also, I can tell you that each table was served by one young man and one young woman, the latter having brought from home beautiful china or dishes, glassware, silverware and cloth napkins which she carefully set on her table.

Of course, I can tell you that skilled musicians--Rising Harmony, a male quartet, made up of 4 young men from our church, and the Kingery Family (also from our church)

sang and played an array of instruments--sharing a patriotic tribute, while the Knudtson Family's stringed symphony provided a classical concert before and during the meal.  Finally, I can tell you that 3 members of our church shared, straight from their hearts, words of thanks to those who had faithfully served our country. I can also tell you that a most appropriate message was given by one of our elders, who gave a little history lesson along with a little sermon, as he wove the gospel into the message and implored them to get to know God, and made the connection for them of our Constitution and freedoms and God whose precepts undergird all of that, and what they fought to defend. (Please pray that those who attended and don't know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will follow his suggestion to open the Bible which was part of the gift each veteran received, and read it, and find out Who Christ is and how to be saved.)  I can most assuredly tell you that those who planned this event did so with the utmost attention to detail, and that fervent prayer covered the event from start to finish.

But I don't think that any ONE element of the evening,
or anything I can tell you,
would really encompass or describe what the Lord did
in answer to those prayers at this event
or would describe the spirit present or the response from those who attended.

This is why I don't think that we've done enough to thank those who have served.  We haven't communicated our gratitude well enough.  The response was amazing.  The depth of emotion, the gratefulness, the appreciation people gave to me--and I didn't really DO anything, I was only representing our church, as I went to the door to shake hands with people before they slipped out the door--amazed me.  I never expected it.  I rushed to the door, sitting at the far end of the room, not wanting any of those I saw heading towards the exit, to leave without one last "thank you."  I just wanted to
 personally say, "Thank you for serving" to the veterans who had come that evening.  As I reached out my hand, looked each guest in the eye and said, "Thank you for coming", and "Thank you for serving," to the veterans, they began to open up and tell me, and I heard it over and over, "No one's ever thanked me.  At least not like this.  Not genuine gratefulness from everyone like we had tonight."  Others shared how the young people expressing gratitude really touched them. Others mentioned the excellent music, but most of all everyone felt the genuine spirit of thankfulness.  They knew the amount of sacrifice that had been made to obtain what we enjoy daily, and just accept as normal: our freedoms.

The finale of the event expressed the patriotism and thankfulness in the heart of everyone as we stood and lifted the roof off in song,
"America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!"
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Blogger Amy W. said...

Hi Mrs. Gunn!
Thank you for posting about this event! I am glad it worked out to do it, despite all of the snow!
It sounds like it was a wonderful God-honoring time, honoring and thanking our Veterans.
God bless!

November 16, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Yes! We were really praying! Only 3 people weren't there who had been expected. The roads got better and better the further west we went, and I hear you didn't get any snow--right? It's melting, but it seems very strange to have so much snow so early.
:) Mrs. Gunn

November 16, 2010 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Amy W. said...

Mrs. Gunn,
Yes, we just got a dusting of snow here. It is amazing how much snow you all got over there for this time of year! I am glad most everyone still came to the event.

Miss you!


November 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Amy,Miss you all, too! We may be coming up your way in the near future, so I hope to see you soon!
:) Mrs. Gunn

November 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Amy W. said...

Mrs. Gunn,
That sounds really good! :)

November 16, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

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