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Rev Andrew J Demotses

President Harry Truman was the object of an assassination attempt in which two secret service agents were killed while protecting him. In recounting the experience of that terrible day, Mr. Truman said, “You can’t imagine how a man feels when someone else dies for him.”

The Old Testament recounts the story in which a similar feeling caused David to worship God. When he had expressed a longing to drink the water from the well of Bethlehem that he had enjoyed as a youth, three brave men, Adino, Eleazar, and Shammah, broke through the fortified Philistine camp and got it for him. Deeply devoted to their leader, they gladly risked their lives to fulfill his wish. This so moved David that, rather than drinking it, he poured the water out as an offering to the Lord, saying “Lord I could never drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives!” (2 Samuel 23:17). This water had become sacred to him because it had been consecrated by the sacrifice of those three noble and gallant men.

The same is also true of freedom. In our sinful world enslavement and oppression are always rearing their ugly heads. Freedom, therefore, must sometimes be bought and preserved with resistance that leads to the shedding of blood. It is for this reason that all nations have a special reverence and honor for their veterans, and particularly for those who have given their lives for their country.

I am grieved when I see the ceremonies of Veteran’s Day sparsely attended, and am conversely uplifted when many of us gather in reverent remembrance of our own parish’s brave sons who offered the ultimate sacrifice. I say thank God for our servicemen and women and urge you to pray for them and their families. Let us also resolve to strengthen our nation by living righteously ourselves and by always remembering that the price of freedom has been paid in blood.

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