"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13
As a tribute to those who have given all to defend our freedoms and the freedoms of others around the world, I just want to share part of a speech that was given by President Ronald Reagan at Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. He was addressing soldies that had survived that day.
"Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you."
Thank God for those who have fought for the freedoms that we too often take for granted. They have learned well from the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that we might know freedom from self and sin.