Choir Notes

This Country Does Not Forget
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4339

Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy spoke to members of the First Armored Division in Fort Stewart, Georgia, who had been deployed during the Cuban missile crisis. During his speech, he recited a poem: 

"God and the soldier, all men adore
In time of danger and not before
When the danger is passed and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.” 

He continued by saying: "This country does not forget God or the soldier. Upon both we now depend.”1

There are many ways a country can remember, ways we can show that we will never forget. In the United States, November 11 has been designated as Veterans Day, a day to "solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and … reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”2

But remembering does not happen on one day alone. We honor best those who have defended our freedoms abroad by defending each day those same freedoms here at home. We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country by willingly making our own daily sacrifices for the common good. This is how we as a nation show that we will never forget the soldiers or the worthy cause they fought for.

As we consider our soldiers past and present, let us give thanks that they are willing to give their all, even their "last full measure of devotion” in serving this land that we love. May we never forget God or the soldier.

1 In Suzy Platt, ed., Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 326. 
2 Dwight D. Eisenhower, in Federal Register, Oct. 12, 1952, 6545.
3 Abraham Lincoln, "Address at Gettysburg,” in Lewis Copeland and others, eds., The World’s Great Speeches, 4th ed. (1999), 315.

No comments:

Christmas Countdown