On Father’s Day Weekend. I begin by reflecting on my Father who passed into eternity some 12 year’s ago. Nearly a hundred years ago as a young man he enlisted in the Army in response to the devastation we call Perl Harbor and the need to defend the “ways and means of American life and democracy”. When I asked him about this it was, “that was just what you had to do”. When I asked my mother to give me one word to describe dad, with out hesitation, she responded “compassion”. I would add, “courage”.
The legacy of my father to me and my three children and their children (five and counting) is a legacy of courage and compassion”. This is a picture of his wartime id which he carried with him into the war and thankfully that he came home (thousands did not). These two words are not just attributes of our heritage they are also two words that describe the God he loved and served.
To God be the Glory. To you dad, I say two simple words: “Thank You”!
Bold enough to use your voice
Brave enough to listen to your heart
Strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined
Bold enough to admit your weakness.
Gentle enough to be the one to get it done
Bravery is the courage to be Bold
Boldness is the compassion to be brave
Yesterday was Memorial Day a day when we remember those who died and who serve that we might enjoy the freedoms of speech, of the expression of faith, of release from fear, the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right to not have that freedom restricted or repressed by others, the right to live in liberty, and afford and receive justice, mercy and grace.
These truths are inalienable rights but a society to that restricts those rights for any member of that local or worldwide community can not with conscience speak the initial lines of the Pledge of Allegiance which is not to a flag (that is a symbol) to the reality that is a concept and construct and compact:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United Staes of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”
When I look at our nation today I see a nation divided, subdivided, stratified, etc. Our only hope is to turn to God who is rich in mercy and grace and calls us all to focus on our common good, our communal integrity, and our inspirational history to not let any force foreign or domestic, internal or external, be used by any person or group to divide us. Rather to use and see all our differences as the handiwork of the creator of all things who through that ubiquitous presence of differences invite us to embrace the universal truth hidden in the creation of all things. That truth is “we are all the same only different we are all different yet the same”. An African classmate of mine from Ivory Coast , Titus Tienu, taught me this truth at Nyack College where we were students.
The following article in Wall Steet Journal says what so often gets overlooked so I attache it to these thoughts and this remembrance:
To more visible expressions of indivisibility.