Thank God For Veterans

Yesterday was veterans day.  It is day to honor those who have served in our military.  Both living and dead. To thank them for their service. To celebrate their contribution. To remember their sacrifice. 

The day was originally known as Armistices Day, when the fighting of WWI ended on the 11th  day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.  That was 1918.  The next year President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first observance with these words:  “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

In 1921 The United States laid to rest a WWI American solider, “his name known only to God”, on a Virginia hillside overlooking Washington and the Potomac.  The site was called “The Tomb of the Unknown Solider” which is located in Arlington National Cemetery.

As have previous Presidents, Barack Obama participated in the ceremony at Arlington yesterday by placing a wreath at the tomb of the unknown Solider.  The President said, “On behalf of the American people, I say to you that the memory of your loved one carries on not just in your hearts, but in ours as well. And I assure you that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

The Bible teaches that it is proper to accord honor to whom honor is deserved as it relates to civil government.  Both apostles Peter and Paul encouraged us to do so (Rom. 13:7: 1 Pet 2:17).

Those who have served our nation in the military are worthy of our respect.  They have fought for freedom. Provided security.  Kept the peace. Secured liberty.  Protected our rights.

The “Tomb of the unknown solider” reminds us of many others “whose names are known only to God.”   Famous Generals have found their way into the history books.  They are American heroes.  We name schools, streets and buildings in honor of them.  Yet, it is the many “lesser known” soldiers who have fought, sacrificed and served to keep our country safe.

Indeed we are indebted to them.

However, as I thought about our American Veterans, I couldn’t help but think of the veterans of faith.  Those who have gone before.  Served the Lord.  Fought the good fight.  Keep the faith.  We are indebted to heroes of faith dating back to the apostles who were persecuted. Beaten. Stoned.  And martyred.  They received the Word. Spread the gospel.  And laid a foundation for future Christians to build upon.

Through succeeding generations there have been those men and women who were true to Word.  Stood for Righteousness. Shared their faith.  And left a spiritual legacy for their children and grandchildren.

As a result, I am a Christian today because of those Christian soldiers.  They passed the legacy to my parents, Roy and Mattie Weliever, who build our home on Bible principles. Modeled before us faith, hope, and love. And instilled within my brother and me the virtues of Christ and Christianity.

I think of veteran preachers who have made a difference in my life.  Aude McKee who mentored me and encouraged me to preach.  Robert Jackson who inspired me.  Bob Owen who equipped me. James P. Miller who motivated me.  And men like Roy Codgill, Clinton Hamilton and Homer Hailey who taught me.  These “veterans” of the Faith and so many others have provided opportunities where we can worship God.  Do His work.  And enjoy the blessings of solid, sound, faithful congregations.

And then I think of all the “unknown soldiers” of Christ in little towns across America.  Men and women known only to their local communities.  Many largely forgotten. Unknown. Unsung. Unheralded.  Yet they stood for Truth.  Opposed error.  Loved the Lord. Served their church Family. Shared their faith.  And quietly went about their daily business while letting their light shine with no fanfare or desire for recognition.

And so on the Monday of this Veteran’s Day holiday, thank God for the American soldier.  They deserve our honor.  But don’t forget the Veterans of faith, who have waged spiritual battles so we can enjoy freedom in Christ.  Thank God for them!

–Ken Weliever, The Pracherman


Filed under America, Christian Living

9 responses to “Thank God For Veterans

  1. Bill Hood

    It has become popular of late to say “Thank you for your service” to military Veterans. Well, Ken, I say to you as one of those spiritual Veterans.. Thank you for your service. My life has been made far richer by those things you fought for on my behalf in His service. You have made a difference in the Lord’s vinyard.


  2. Excellent post! Thank you for taking the time to make this comparison. I don’t think I’ll ever think of Veteran’s Day in the same way. I am who I am in large part because of the prayers of my mother and grandmother. What a blessing their lives were/are to me. I’ve recently written my first historical novel titled, Through The Eyes Of Grace, based on my grandmother’s life. She was a true hero of the faith, but learning her story has helped me see how the Lord got her there. She lived a hard life, but the glory she gave to God as a result is compelling. You can find it on Amazon if you’re interested. I found you on the UBC, btw.
    God bless,


  3. David McKee

    Thanks Ken.
    David McKee


  4. Sandra Jo, Pine Bluff Church of Christ

    Yesterday after evening worship my husband Richard and I took our veteran friend to Taco Bell, which we do often. Orlen sometimes wears his special veteran’s cap decorated with medals, which he did in celebration last night. The adults our age came up to him and thanked him for his sacrifice…but the youth did not. Orlen turned to us and said, “The young do not understand; they have no concept of sacrifice in their lifetime. I fear what we’ve done to preserve freedom in the past has been a wasted effort!” So sad to hear our elder veterans say this…but we’ve even heard it from our young veterans. Our conversation went on to the moral decay of America. Christian veterans are even more affected by what they see happening in the world. Ken, in your blog, going back to the apostles as heroes is a wonderful thought for the day…for our lifetime! And their efforts, as the efforts of our veterans, was and is not in vain! The Bible is certainly the best book of heroes.


  5. Pingback: Weekly Recap: November 7-11 | ThePreachersWord

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