“Born in the 1920’s, he grew up in the depression poor like most rural American children. … As he grew up, he belonged to the Boy Scouts, played trumpet in the high school band and went to church almost all Sundays. In 1944 this 18-year old country boy who never traveled more than 50 miles from home found himself going through basic training at a U.S. Army Camp in Texas. After that, he rode a train with hundreds of other teenagers to New York City to board a Liberty ship to cross the Atlantic to fight WWII. … He was in the 7th Army serving in the European theater. … He met Mom at a Wednesday evening prayer meeting upon returning from the war. … He graduated and became an engineer for Southwestern Bell in Houston, Texas. … He turned down a promotion to New York City because it wasn’t Texas and he did not want to raise his family in New York. …” Click here to listen to all of Ted Poe’s House floor speech.
Respect and honor are what the generation before us deserves. The history books cannot convey the atrocities of war nor the gut-wrenching decisions that had to be made on information available. Memorial Day provides an opportunity to honor those that have gone to the battlefront on our behalf and did not return. They fought for freedoms we enjoy today like choosing what we want to do over a 3-day weekend. I encourage including a visit to the local veterans’ cemetery to say, “Thank you.”
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”– 1Peter 5:5. Every generation struggles with this. It is always easier to judge than to honor. The tendency is to be prideful instead of humble and compassionate. The result can be a chasm in a father-son relationship, in family ties between generations or in faith that is to be passed on from one generation to the next. Humility is key for the old and the young to connect by God’s grace.
Congressman Ted Poe provided powerful reflection on the life of a poor country boy that simply served his country, accepted responsibility for what was before him and raised his family well. Ted refers to his dad being of the “greatest generation”. My uncle’s story is very similar. When I asked him what it was like being part of the “greatest generation”, he responded, “I don’t know how great we were but we were daggum sure the toughest!” I humbly confess that I am not near as tough as my dad or my uncle and still have a lot to learn to carry their legacy forward, to PASS the BATON well to the next generation.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for my father and mother, the “greatest generation” that preserved this one nation under You when its foundation was rocked by World War II. Today the attacks on the foundation are quite different in nature but the resiliency of mind, body and soul exhibited by generations before us provide an example of what is needed. Lord, grant me strength in Your word to stand firm against challenges we face today, to be tough enough to humbly serve You, accept responsibility for where You have me and PASS the BATON well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father humbly serves, accepts responsibility and PASSes the BATON well.