Remembering those who gave it all

Submitted by the American Village

At the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, two images haunt me from the closing exhibit focused on the European Theatre of World War II.

The first is the large image of a young American – someone’s beloved son – slumped over, still holding his rifle, lifeless from enemy fire. He gave his life mere days from end of that terrible war. Here, I thought, is a precious life given for liberty and for his country, and here is a deep enduring loss for his family, community and nation.

The second image is that of the powerful words of Sgt. Bruce Egger:

“A wounded man kept crying, “Mother, Mother! Help me!” as he struggled to rise. Another burst from the machine gun silenced him. That beseeching plea on that clear, cold Christmas night will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

While we celebrate this Christmas and holiday season, let us remember those who are serving now in the United States Armed Forces in places far away, separated from loved ones, and many in harm’s way.

May we also remember those who gave their lives in those distant, inhospitable fields, forests, deserts and seas, and remember their families left behind.

May God hold them all in His holy care, and grant us the grace to remember them and honor them by honorable service to our beloved country.

—Tom Walker, American Village founder and president