My Son as the Wonderboy Lieutenant Colonel
As a college student I really enjoyed my history assignments. Being a photo guy, I of course dug deeply into my pictures, maps and diagrams. In my senior year at West Point I watched my company pass in review on parade on my first personally acquired camera. When I printed the photos I found myself looking at a present day image, which could be from the relatively distant past if were not for some modern building in the background.
I was soon looking at every historical image differently. Every image of a battle, congressional debate, city street, factory or farm had me replacing the face of yesteryear with one of ours. We could be those past people, if it was not for an accident of historical timing. This made me appreciate photography even more, and my own place in history.
The event also made me remember a quote I heard from President Ronald Reagan a few years earlier:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
(From the Quotations Page)
While our DNA will allow us to recreate moments as actors from the past with ease, certain important lessons such as the American concept of freedom only will be passed on and lived with through deliberate efforts. Putting myself into the shoes of soldiers, statesmen, explorers, industrialists, farmers and my forefathers getting off the boat only made this lesson easier to understand.
Ash Wendseday a lifetime ago….
Today Lord you make the perfect sacrifice for me a sinner. I know you offer grace freely if I but ask. I know I must accept justice for my sins against my fellow man and your creation. I know my sacrifices here can never be as perfect as your was in antonement for my sins. So I humbly beg for your Devine Mercy, to which I am not entitled but can only receive through your devine will.
I also ask you provide this final gift to the all souls in purgatory…so they can participate in glory of the eternal mass in heaven today.
St. Faustina pray for us!
During World War II resistance families in Nazi Occupied Europe provided shelter to downed airmen from the Allied air forces. To do so risked the life of the individual and their families. Punishment for aiding Allied airmen could be instant execution, or brutal torture followed my sentencing to a concentration camp. Despite the risks, several thousand people participated in underground networks to smuggle airmen to the coast or Spain for evacuation to England.
This photo comes from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, I caught it before going to work this week. It crucifix rests inside an exhibit dedicated to the resistance wiling to give their lives so others may live. The stories are heart wrenching, and joyous at the same time. This exhibit resembled a typical French country cottage.
With all the negative stories on the news, tragedies in several families we associate with, potential tough times ahead for all I found myself in a writing and creative funk. The stories of the airmen and world of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in World War II gave me hope. These men believed in their mission, and their brothers around them. They suffered casualty rates of 11 to 20 percent on various missions but soldiered on for over three years to obtain final victory. Defeats suffered by the Air Force early on resulted in innovation and doctrine propelling them to victory in the skies of Europe with their Allied brothers in arms.
The core of their success came from recognizing the reality of the environment of the situation they faced. They did not create excuses. They did not falsify combat reports and intelligence to make someone’s “good idea” carry weight in a debate. They dealt with cold hard facts to work towards effective solutions to complex problems. These men knew failure to acknowledge reality resulted in death and mission failure.
As the world moves forward to face its current dilemmas, we again must look towards the truth of a situation to find a solution. I pray the world is willing to recognize a lack of being Biblically God centered is a core component to the problem. This recognition may help bring the formerly Christian Western World back from the brink of catastrophe. Christ did give all so others may live forever. Time to take him up on his offer.
The hour is almost here!
Are you ready? Easter is. Day on the calendar, but the challenge to your faith in the one true God could come at any time. Are you ready to carry your cross?
I can only hope and pray I will not fail my Lord when my time comes. That cross looks heavy to me!