By Chaplain (Capt.) Russell Sanders
Special to GUIDON
Teammates, perhaps no one grasps the true meaning of our nation’s and her allies’ fight for freedom around the world as much as those who have had the honor to serve in the armed services.
We feel a deep sense of connectedness today with all those gone before us who fought, and sometimes died, to defend of our nation and her allies.
Consider the following example of honorable warriors of character:
“They will remember for a little while in England. The soldier does have his day. I want to remind you this afternoon that it is not enough to remember now. We’ve got to show what we think of their sacrifice in the way we conduct ourselves in the days ahead.”
These powerful words were spoken by the chaplain of the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment while honoring Soldiers of his battalion who fought and died against overwhelming odds during the battle of Gloster Hill. Their heroic stand helped stop the advancing enemy during the Korean War.
This chaplain’s charge to his unit is timeless, especially for those who have served in support of their nation’s interests around the world — some, probably on that same Korean Peninsula. For we continually stand in the shadow of that great “cloud of witnesses” — warriors of character who gave their full devotion to their nation’s cause.
The honor and responsibility we owe them goes beyond all formal observances. It extends into how we live and serve every day.
We are compelled to live our lives in a manner that communicates that their sacrifice continues to matter.
We do this not only in maintaining our warfighting readiness, but also, in treating one another with dignity and respect, as a team.
The men of the Gloucestershire Regiment honored their nation and its allies, their unit’s heritage and each other through the courage and sacrifices they made in their stand on Gloster Hill.
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
As we begin the new year, may we be resolved, by God’s grace, to follow this example of honorable courage daily in the way we conduct ourselves in the various positions we occupy in our service to God and country.
(Editor’s note: Sanders is the 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment chaplain.)