By Tom Quiner

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B81kW814qA]

This Veteran’s Day, I pay tribute to all the men and women who have served this nation in the armed forces. Thousands and thousands have given their lives in the name of freedom.

We thank-you for your service to America.

A letter writer in the Des Moines Register gave voice to us all in this lament:

” … I wish I could think as I did as a child that the human race is too civilized, too knowledgeable, too humane to solve its problems with war.”

The war to end all wars has never come.  Why?

Why does God allow war?

War’s very existence is proof to some that God doesn’t exist. And yet C.S. Lewis suggests that God allows war for a reason. Here is an excerpt from his story, The Screwtape Letters, where the demon, Screwtape, explains God’s logic:

“This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s [God’s] motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”

In a world where forces are at work to redefine society’s virtues, courage remains an indisputable virtue. Our soldiers have gone into battle absolutely terrified at the thought of dying. Their legs shook. They vomited. Their heads pounded. And yet they stormed the beach in the face of enemy fire, in the face of probable death.

Mr. Lewis suggests that these examples of courage, that these examples of spilled blood, bear fruit by nourishing something absolutely essential to our humanity: courage.

We’re all tested in life. It takes courage at the “testing point” to do the right thing. You may be tested before this day is done. Remember the examples of our veterans who faced physical danger that most of us will never face.

We salute you. You gave your best to America.

You have made us better.

***

Norah Jones wrote a song, American Anthem, in tribute to our veterans, which you can hear above. Here are the lyrics:

American Anthem

All we’ve been given
By those who came before
The dream of a nation
Where freedom would endure
The work and prayers
Of centuries
Have brought us to this day

What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?
Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America
America
I gave my best to you

Each generation from the plains
To distant shore with the gifts
What they were given
Were determined
To leave more
Valiant battles fought together
acts of conscience fought alone
these are the seeds
From which America has grown

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America
America
I gave my best to you

For those who think
They have nothing to share
Who fear in their hearts
There is no hero there
Know each quiet act
Of dignity is
That which fortifies
The soul of a nation
That never dies

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America
America
I gave my best to you

2 Comments

  1. Tom Maly on November 11, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Thomas, that is the best post I have seen you make! The writing amplified by the anthem is magnificent. Thank you!

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