In the Mansions of the Lord

Fort LoganTerry and I will be moving to our new home this week. For that and other obvious reasons I thought it appropriate to send this week’s edition of Perspectives today, Memorial Day.

I’m including below the words of this moving video and song, just over eight minutes in length. Theological purists, please show a bit of grace when viewing this link:

This DVD is dedicated to the U.S. servicemen and women who paid for our freedom with their lives. Music is by West Point Military Academy Cadet Glee Club and Metro Voices, Tenor Ronan Tynan and Sgt. MacKenzie. DVD is by John Langskov.

In the Mansions of the Lord

To fallen soldiers let us sing, where no rockets fly nor bullets wing. Our broken brothers let us bring, to the mansions of the Lord.

No more weeping, no more fight, no prayers pleading through the night. Just divine embrace, eternal light, in the mansions of the Lord.

I pray in the night, deep shadows fall. My heart surrenders all, hush of the evening bells toll.

Where no mothers cry and no children weep, we will stand and guard though the angels sleep. All through the ages safely keep, the mansions of the Lord.

Way up to heaven floats my plea, calling the world far beyond. Angels sing with me, so sweet in reverie.

Lay me down in the cold, cold ground, where before many more have gone. Once a year say a prayer for me. Close your eyes and remember me.

  • American Cemetery, Luxembourg: 5,076 buried
  • WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
  • Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.
  • Vietnam Three Soldiers Statue
  • Pentagon 911 Memorial
  • Manila American Cemetery: 17,201 WW II buried, 36,285 names missing in action listed
  • American Cemetery, Brittany, France: 4,410 buried
  • American Cemetery, Aisne-Marne, France: 2,289 buried
  • American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium: 7,992 buried
  • American Cemetery, Normandy, France: 9,387 buried
  • American Cemetery, Meuse-Argonne, France: 14,246 buried

May no soldier go unloved.

May no soldier walk alone.

May no soldier be forgotten.

Until they all come home.

This day and every day, thank God for our servicemen and women, past, present and future.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2Memorial Day was first officially observed on May 5, 1868. On that day, General John A. Logan, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation establishing May 30 as the annual observance of this occasion. He spoke of honoring soldiers, sailors and marines who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and became an official federal holiday in 1971, dedicated to honor Civil War soldiers. Today we honor the memory of all who fought for, defended and died for our country’s freedoms while serving in the U.S. military

A May 28, 2007, Memorial Day communication of unknown origin states: To those who died securing peace and freedom, who served in conflict to protect our land and sacrificed their dreams of the day to preserve the hope of our nation to keep America the land of the free for over two centuries, we owe our thanks and our honor. It is important not only to recognize their service but also to respect their devotion to duty and to ensure that the purpose for which they fought will never be forgotten.

Willingness to sacrifice even life itself was demonstrated early in the War for Independence, as Captain Nathan Hale was captured by the British and executed as a spy. His dying words were: “I only regret that I have but one life to give/lose for my country.”

Those words exemplify the resolve of America’s soldiers, airmen, marines, National Guard and naval personnel—men and women who are willing to sacrifice life and limb to protect and defend the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

In a much more significant way, with eternal ramifications, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

It is always both appropriate and important to thank God for those in our military services who died while defending and protecting our country and to pray for those who still do. I invite you to join in the Prayer for Armed Forces of our Nation (LSB, p. 315):

Lord God of hosts, stretch forth your almighty arm to strengthen and protect those who serve in the armed forces of our country. Support them in times of war, and in times of peace keep them from all evil, giving them courage and loyalty. Grant that in all things they may serve with integrity and with honor; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.